Interview with Circle2Success
November 30, 2020
Founder & Director of Circle2Success, Suzanne Hall-Gibbins, interviewed Managing Director, Edward Davies, to learn more about Viper’s innovation culture.
Viper Innovations Ltd, was founded in 2007 by Co-owners and Directors Max Nodder and Neil Douglas. Initially set up as an engineering consultancy, offering design and project management services for subsea distribution equipment it invested heavily in research and development (R&D), resulting in a strong pipeline of product and services generating revenue growth derived from the business’ own intellectual property.
Today Viper is a high-tech, innovative and disruptive SaaS model business serving the subsea oil and gas, rail and other industrial sectors with proprietary, award-winning technology and products. Proudly filled with incredible people and bright minds, it is agile, proactive and disruptive.
Viper’s technology and products maximise the operational life of mission critical controls and electrical distribution equipment used in harsh environments. They do this through integrity monitoring and fault finding and in the case of subsea applications, remote repair of insulation. The products provide for proactive, planned maintenance instead of reactive repair or replacement. Where a repair or replacement is needed the products identify the fault allowing for speedy action and the avoidance of delay, significant cost and safety risks through manual identification.
Next phase of growth
Viper has enjoyed significant, consistent growth and diversification of its technology into new sectors and applications. It has ambitious plans for further growth all built on the foundations of its people, culture, innovation and appetite to disrupt.
As part of planning for that growth the founders decided to appoint a new Managing Director and Edward Davies joined the business as MD in June 2020.
Edward brings 20 years of experience working with fast growing businesses as a consultant, non-executive and executive director. A solicitor by background, he most recently acted as advisor to the founders of engineering company Adey from start-up in 2003, before taking on the full time, executive position of Chief Operating Officer in 2015. He was pivotal in developing and overseeing a strategy that saw a transformation in the business to position it for further rapid growth, international expansion and to undertake strategic acquisition work.
We explored with Edward his primary focus for the rest of 2020 and what innovation means for him:
“I am delighted to be entrusted with leading the next phase of Viper’s growth, working alongside its founders and the talented and committed team they have developed. Viper has a fantastic product suite, customer base and is truly innovative. It has incredible opportunities ahead of it and I’m looking forward to being part of realising them and growing the business in its current markets and beyond.
In order to continue delivering state-of-the-art products and services through R&D, my immediate focus is to ensure we have the necessary resources and structure in place. We will continue to nurture and support our existing talented people through training and development as well as open new roles within the business to broaden our skill sets and further strengthen our market position as technological innovators.”
What does the process of innovation look like at Viper?
“At Viper we pride ourselves on being a knowledge-based company with a substantial focus on Research and Development. We have continued to employ highly talented people and collaborate with universities through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), this combination of expert experience and knowledge has been highly effective in the design and development of our innovative products and services.”
Innovation is most effective when embedded into the working culture, how have you done this at Viper?
“Innovation is at Viper’s Core and is a vital part of our strategy in achieving continued growth. Viper’s ability to deliver innovative products and services is hugely based on our people’s combined years of extensive experience in key sectors, as well as understanding the product development process. Our staff are continuously encouraged and inspired to explore new ideas and push the boundaries of existing technology in the market place. Viper’s approachable management team and culture of clear and open communication provides our teams with the space and freedom to be innovative in everything they do. Critical to Viper’s success has been ensuring continuous improvement is employed to introduce new advancements and learnings across everything that we do, while truly understanding the needs of our customers.”
Having enjoyed significant success in its core international subsea market, that success continues following extension into the UK rail sector. Further diversification into international rail and other industrial markets are part of Viper’s strategic plan. Organic growth plans will be supplemented and supported by targeted acquisitions.
The combination of expert knowledge and R&D in collaboration with universities has led to the design and development of a range of specialist subsea products and services. In more recent years some of these proven technologies have been transferred from the subsea industry to the rail and industrial sectors (feeding back new learnings into subsea), expanding the product offering. The company continues to grow year on year by maintaining focus on our established markets and customers, by increasing exports to global markets and by continuously investing in its people and technological innovations.
Viper’s award-winning products and services provide practical solutions for the real problems faced by their clients on a day to day basis whilst helping to take out cost and increase production efficiency. They pride themselves on being a knowledge-based company with a substantial focus on Research and Development. This includes Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) working in collaboration with universities; to bring only the best products and services to market.