Software and solutions specialist DVT has appointed Brian Ford as its new Portfolio Executive for the Western Cape. Ford is responsible for all account management functions in the region, with a direct line from DVT’s teams of account managers as well as his own Priority Client accounts.

With a background in software development and more than 30 years’ experience in the IT industry, Ford brings with him a wealth of knowledge and industry know-how to DVT’s progressive management group. He co-founded an IT startup, MagmaTec, in 1998, and was named CEO of Alacrity in 2011 following a merger with ComprehendIT. Ford sold out of Alacrity in 2012, remaining with buyer Argility – part of UCS and the Capital Eye Group – for a further nine months before leaving to start another venture, Keystroke.

Having overseen significant growth at Keystroke, Ford decided to pursue other interests before an approach from DVT attracted him back to the management hotseat.

“For me it’s always been a big challenge to help companies provide personalised professional service to their key clients, something I’m obsessively passionate about,” says Ford.

“High value clients expect high value in return, not just a face behind a desk or a voice on the other end of the line,” he says. “They want you, as a service provider, to provide more than just competency, but also thought leadership, be risk sharing, have consistency and drive efficiencies. They want you to understand their business, and to help them solve real problems based on your understanding and experience.

“One of the things that attracted me most to this role is the similarities between this way of thinking and the everyday culture at DVT,” he adds. “We go out of our way to make sure we talk to our clients and listen to what they need from us before engaging. Only then can we match the complex processes of software development and testing, wrapped in the proper Agile methodologies, to the products and services that make the biggest difference to our clients’ businesses.”

Ford says DVT firsts like the Western Cape software testing hub (that is now “a drawcard for national customers, not just local ones” in his words) is a good example of DVT’s culture of innovation and service that goes beyond “vanilla consulting”.

“The business world is increasingly supported by outsourced services from developing economic hubs like India, but we’re creating our own hubs for our clients right here in South Africa,” he says. “We’re breaking down barriers at economies of scale that previously had to be outsourced to make sense, and it all begins by having a passion for personal service.”

DVT CEO Jaco van der Merwe says Ford brings with him longstanding relationships from across all levels of industry in both business and IT.

“Brian is particularly strong at the executive and senior management layers,” he says. “With his experience and exemplary track record I’m excited to see how he adds a new dimension to our clients, and warmly welcome him to the DVT family.”

Ford holds a BCom Honours degree in marketing from the University of the Western Cape, and an MBA from UCT. He is currently in the process of completing his doctoral studies with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.