Park People: A Day in the life of Farah Nazir-Chapman, Planet IT
Published on 17 February 2022
This month, we spoke to Farah Nazir-Chapman, Head of Voice and Connectivity at Planet IT, learning more about the breadth of her role, how Planet IT is revolutionising the way companies work and communicate following the pandemic… and how the past two years have made her even more of a self-confessed ‘comms geek’.
Hi Farah! Tell us a bit about Planet IT in your own words...
Hello! In a nutshell, Planet IT is one of the UK’s fastest growing IT companies. We have a diverse team with a variety of specialisms - from managed IT support, to cybersecurity, back-up, cloud computing, hardware & software, professional services, and of course - the department that I have led from its outset to where it is now - Voice and Connectivity.
We have internationally recognised clients - such as the BBC and The Premier League - alongside our core locally-based clients such as the University of Oxford, Against Breast Cancer and ResMed. We also work with a range of Milton Park-based companies such as Immunocore and OBN.
We’re very tight here at Planet IT. We call it our Planet Family. We socialise together, share big life events together, we even holiday together. As a team, we have been on trips to Iceland, Budapest, Barcelona, Dubai, Milan... the list goes on...
What does your role as Head of Voice and Connectivity involve?
Modern business has changed so much in the last 2 years. In my opinion, the biggest shift is the way we communicate… so, my time to shine!
My team advise on all aspects of voice and data connectivity, which covers anything from dedicated ethernet circuits, hosted telephony (VoIP), business mobile packages and everything else in between. In short, I help the modern business to communicate better.
Doing this within a particularly challenging time such as the pandemic made me even more of a comms geek. A typical day is quite varied but is usually fuelled by lots of coffee, and laughter of course!
One of our stand-out successes since the pandemic has been the huge demand to replace traditional phones with Microsoft Teams. Planet IT is a Gold Microsoft Partner - meaning we’re one of the top companies in the country to offer this service. The team worked so hard to bring this forward, it was such an exciting project to be a part of.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
People tend to think my role is just about communication. It’s a lot more than that! At its core, it’s about helping organisations save money and work smarter.
Having 25 years’ experience as a communications engineer, I get really excited about the service offerings and integration. But my job focuses on technology and customers in equal measure.
Sometimes, the solution is simple and other times it needs a bit of magic from the team. This is when we come together for group brainstorms and collaborate in the creation of technically intricate offerings behind the scenes, meaning my role is incredibly varied.
Planet IT is a great place to work. As I said, there is a family feel about it - its vibrant, loud, fast paced and very social. So the perfect mix of interesting personalities, we work very hard and equally play hard.
What's an exciting project you're working on at the moment?
We’re doing some great work for a very high-profile local organisation. In simple terms, we’re providing them with technology that enables Unified Communications, allowing staff and customers to converse via chat audio, video, desktop sharing and file transfer - helping to address customer queries and collaborate internally.
It's exciting because this will truly revolutionise the way this client works, maximising their time and saving money, meaning this system will pretty much pay for itself – what’s not to love?
What do you enjoy most about working at Milton Park?
Milton Park really does have everything you’d want from a science and technology community. I have worked on - and with - lots of business parks over the years and Milton Park really is up there with the best.
It has a great community feel from all the businesses here as well as a range of amenities, beautiful green spaces to take a refreshing walk, is highly accessible, and of course, the amazing food on offer is a big plus!