From end user to consulting - Christopher Nugent

From end user to consulting - Christopher Nugent


Tell us about yourself, what is your role at System Partners?

  • Degree in Politics, International Relations, and Communications from Monash University

  • Went into working in IT off the back of incomplete study (was originally doing a double degree, Arts & IT) due to better career opportunities

  • Worked in various IT roles in the Construction industry for 12 years, ultimately as Service Delivery Manager at Fulton Hogan

  • ‘Owned’ Fulton Hogan Australia’s instance of Salesforce for 4 years, this involved administration and Business Analysis for projects that were on platform

  • I am one of 3 Lead Consultants at System Partners and the only one based in Melbourne. I lead our Melbourne consulting team by:

  • Developing and improving our delivery methodology with the other Lead Consultants

  • Coaching staff on goal setting and professional development

  • Peer reviewing project deliverables to ensure quality

  • Acting as Delivery Lead on large client engagements

  • Initiating client engagements by way of running Discovery Workshops

  • Completing Blueprinting activities including Business Process Mapping and Solution Architecture


Why did you choose to join a consulting partner?

Two reasons:

  • Salesforce is such a large beast it was difficult to determine where I would best fit in; and

  • I had relationships with people in the partner ecosystem who were able to guide my journey and find a good fit. I was speaking in detail with two partners when I ultimately joined system partners and I had friends at both.


You’ve been consulting for two years, what was the biggest change compared with your previous roles and how did you find the transition?

The biggest change was moving to project based work and not having long term ownership of the systems I was working on. Rather ownership of short term outcomes.

The transition was challenging. For the first few months it felt like everyone was speaking another language. I realised while I was an experienced IT professional, the world was much bigger than the construction industry. Every industry has their own lingo in terms of not only consulting organisations but client organisations.


What is it that has kept you interested and passionate about what you do?

The wide variety of industries I’ve get exposed to. Commencing a project in an industry I’ve not previously worked in involved so much learning. I’ve long been addicted to new information and this role has enabled me to satisfy that need.

While I’ve worked with high quality people in every organisation I’ve been in, consulting seems to attract the high calibre individuals. Also people who don’t perform are found out quickly and don’t last. I love being constantly challenged by being surrounded by high quality people and the healthy competition it creates.


What advice do you have for anyone wanting to make a similar transition to yourself from end user to consulting?

Be prepared for the environment you are going into. The workplace is far more demanding than working client side. However the potential rewards if you can handle it and are willing to put in the work will be far more satisfying.


Apart from the technical skills, what soft skills and or characteristics are needed to be successful?

The right attitude. You can be taught and learn skills, however if you don’t have the right attitude you will fail. When presented with a problem or task you need to be prepared to accept it and tackle it head on.

Don’t focus on the problems or reasons it won’t succeed. Give it a go. If you fail or it doesn’t work, that’s a valuable learning experience. People with a bad attitude won’t succeed in consulting.


How is the future for Salesforce looking?

Very exciting, Salesforce is going from strength to strength and shows no signs of slowing down.

Salesforce knowledge and skills are only going to get more valuable as more customers are acquired and the demand for implementation partners increases.

I consider myself fortunate to have fallen into working with Salesforce at Fulton Hogan and being able to leverage those skills to join System Partners.


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