Meet The Team - Allan
Allan Price - Director of Development
You’re from Scotland, how did you end up working for an IT company in China?
I came to Shanghai in 2015. Prior to that, much of my experience was related to AV and IT – I was a Regional Development Manager for Samsung across Scotland & Ireland, and I worked in marketing and sales for companies like Acer, Intel, Sony, Panasonic & Sonos. I am also a freelance videographer/editor and spent 4 years as the producer of an online TV show (managing live stream events and documentary production), so my background has always been related to technology and business development. I am now married here (to my Chinese wife that I met in Edinburgh many years ago) and I found 4U Systems during my search for a job that matched my background.
What do you enjoy most about your time at 4U Systems?
I joined 4U Systems because I was impressed by their list of previous Fortune500 clients and their international mindset, and after working here for almost 3 years I can see that our team has a lot of knowledge about the products they work with but also put a big emphasis on professionalism at all stages. I enjoy being able to sit in front of multi-national clients and have a really good service to offer them, as it makes my job in business development much easier. Our company is almost all Chinese but the team has been welcoming and supportive to me ever since I joined. Plus, I’m working in industries with such dynamic change right now (technology & real estate) – combined with the rapid growth of things in China, it’s a perfect position to create some interesting and memorable work.
What is your proudest accomplishment at 4U?
In early 2016 I started pursuing a new client lead – WeWork. Since then we have built and established a strong working relationship with them and have completed 16 building projects together (15 China, 1 Singapore), providing a total solutions package of design, installation & maintenance for their IT/AV/Security systems requirements. It has been impressive to see our 4U team show their abilities under pressure and consistently deliver high quality projects, but it has also been a great opportunity to use my experience of strategic development to find ways to resolve problems and come up with new ideas that helped WeWork and also enables us to offer them the best service. Plus, it’s cool that I can visit and work inside these locations and experience what we accomplished – not something you can do with most clients (and on a side note – being able to see one of my client’s projects open on the same day that my twins were born in the hospital 200m away was a funny coincidence).
There have been quite a lot of developments in technology for corporate offices, and not a lot of certainty where companies should be investing their IT budget. What have you seen in the market that would be worth a closer look for 4U’s clients?
Budget sare under pressure from all fronts, so the demands on justifying the real value of IT expenditure are growing. Simultaneously, the growing trend of activity-based design changes to improve the quality of working environments is helping to boost creativity, productivity, staff satisfaction and talent retention/new talent attraction. Technology can complement and support design changes in a number of ways in what can be classified generally as ‘workplace technology solutions’. This can include things like integrated booking systems (to improve meeting efficiency and empower staff more in managing their time and accessing resources) and sensors to identify patterns of use in desks/meeting rooms or any other parts of the office. This data can be captured passively and constantly, and can be used by a number of stakeholders to make their company more efficient – for optimizing the design of future expansions/new offices, for adapting building operations and facility management to avoid waste and for staff/manager empowerment. This means that the additional costs for this technology are much easier to justify and spread between budgets, and there are clear tangible benefits to gain from it. 4U Systems is actively offering these services and we are receiving more and more requests from clients about it.