Steve Pickering is the Founder and Managing Director of String. Known as a perfectionist, Steve has a keen eye on detail and the inherent need to do things right. With over 30 years industry experience and a technical background, he brings a structured approach to defining the String business strategy, crafting the company culture and driving the growth of the business. This approach has seen String grow year on year since its creation.
"I want to ensure whether you are an existing or prospective client, or an existing or prospective member of the String team, that we have an organisation that is focussed on service excellence, is a great place to work and that we have some fun along the way"
When not in work mode Steve can be found spending time with the family, preferably on holiday or trying to keep fit on two wheels.
Tom Wright is a Director at String Systems and is responsible for all aspects of our innovation, portfolio development, system design/architecture and key vendor relationships. He is passionate about how technology can be truly transformational in the modern workplace and works across our client base focussing on collaboration, productivity, security, business continuity and cloud deployment. As Steve's business partner in String, Tom also plays a key role in helping to shape the business strategy, the systems, processes and culture at the heart of what makes String the partner of choice for forward thinking organisations.
Downtime is spent with the family and nothing beats a good long run to exercise the body and mind.
Nigel Bennett joined String in 2007 as the Business Development Manager and has been a key figure in the company's journey of growth. A wealth of client facing experience in a variety of roles earlier in his career, provided the perfect backdrop for Nigel's principle role, leading the business development and account management functions. Thriving on building relationships that endure, he is passionate about taking our clients on a journey which sees IT truly support their business ambitions. And he brings his extensive skills to bear inside our business mentoring all non technical new starters.
Away from the office, Nigel is a huge supporter of Liverpool FC and attends games as often as he can with one of his sons. His other son supports Manchester United, which makes for interesting discussions around the dinner table.
Francis (Fran) Grundy joined String in 2018 as a key member of the Account Management Team. He brings extensive client service capability and experience after 12 years working in some of the UK's largest IT and Telecom companies. A desire to work in a far more hands on and client facing role in an ambitious and growing company saw the perfect match for Fran and String. He now works with dozens of our client organisations helping to define the right solutions and then ensuring they are successfully delivered and well supported afterwards acting as his client's principal contact.
A busy family man, spare time is a luxury, but on those occasions when he gets any, he likes nothing more than some peace and quiet
Accounts & Business Support
Heidi Eastham is an important member of our growing Business Support / Accounts team. Working very closely with the Business Support team she is a highly experienced individual, performing a broad range of financial duties. She currently manages the monthly subscriptions and renewable services on behalf of hundreds of clients, ensuring our clients systems are kept protected and up to date. A keen country walker, the perfect weekend would be a hike in the lakes with family and dogs and weather permitting an al fresco picnic
Julia Higson is a busy and important member of our Business Support team. Her primary role is focused on helping clients by taking calls and raising support tickets, she is also in charge of procurement, stock control, diary management and resource scheduling which are all key parts of her portfolio and allow her to utilise her extensive people interaction skills both externally and internally acquired over a number of years in a variety of client facing roles. Julia loves to travel and has been fortunate to visit exotic places around the world. Her ambition is to visit every continent and she thoroughly enjoys traveling to new places and meeting new people.
Operations and administration
Jen Pickering is another busy member of the String Team who brings her extensive operations and administration experience to bear in directly supporting the Service Delivery team. Working closely with all members of that team, she is constantly focussed on the successful day to day project delivery execution and issue resolution, and exploring new ways to drive excellence and best practice.
Out of work Jen shares with husband and MD Steve the responsibility for keeping two teenage girls busy and where they need to be, but does find time to relax with yoga
Service Delivery Manager
Andy Carter is the Service Delivery Manager at String Systems with overall responsibility for all project delivery and managed service/support delivery
With an IT journey spanning 5 decades, Andy has an impressive breadth of experience across a range of disciplines and functions. He has brought this experience to bear working on projects with household names including AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Hilton Worldwide, MBNA Bank, Planet Hollywood, Rolls Royce and The Walt Disney Company. Taking pride in a job well done is a huge driver for Andy who seeks to ensure expectations are exceeded across all the services String deliver and leads our multi-disciplined technical team by example.
Outside of work, Andy likes nothing more than spending as much time as possible with his family.
Help Desk Team Leader
Craig Prince is our Helpdesk Team Leader focussed wherever possible on issue prevention rather than issue resolution. Having worked both in end user system support in the Education sector and in other Managed Service Providers, Craig has had plenty of exposure to the challenges that system disruption can cause and truly appreciates the value our clients get from their issues being resolved quickly and efficiently. For Craig, the buzz of a challenge doesn't stop outside work and he enjoys nothing better than taking on the climbing wall at his local climbing centre.
Kieran Park started his IT career managing the internal systems for a commercial organisation, before joining String to broaden his horizons in 2011. His blend of technical expertise, desire to provide great service and appetite to continue to acquire new skills make him an integral part of the team.
An IT gaming fan, Kieran spends his spare time honing his skills and participating in gaming competitions nationwide.
Having relocated from the South of England to the North West in 2004, Jason White joined the String team in 2016 as a hugely experienced IT Engineer and technician who both takes the lead on many of the more complex implementations String increasingly undertake for their clients and is a knowledgeable resource when a thorny issue arises on the service desk. In the industry since 1995, his skills encompass all aspects of the Microsoft stack, virtualisation, storage, thin client, security and cloud migration. Outside work he enjoys time with the family and both tinkering with his classic car and attending classic car shows and motor racing events.
John Cumiskey had an extensive career as an IT and communications specialist in the Armed Forces and then the railway industry, before moving into the commercial world and putting his skills to great use in the Managed Service community. He joined String in 2017 as a 3rd Line Engineer and takes the lead on key installations and projects. With an absolute focus on ensuring client satisfaction, John prides himself on being a friendly face on site.
When not in work, John can be found trying his hand at DIY projects around the home and being the appointed family geek, forever on call for family and friends.
Mike Bentley joined us in 2018 and brings a wealth of experience from the Managed Service and IT solutions world. He spent over 20 years working in and then co-owning a multi-million £, award winning, well respected and profitable organisation serving 400 SME organisations across the North of England. Having successfully sold that business, and following some time out to recharge his batteries, Mike was looking for an ambitious organisation he could join and put his experiences to good use and was delighted to find String.
For Mike, travel remains his favourite pastime when not working, with the perfect trip combining seeing new places and sun lounger time
Karen Kayes leads the finance function here at String. After recently locating from Staffordshire Karen looked for an ambitious growing company and felt String was the right fit, it was important to be part of a “people business” where colleagues and clients are valued. Karen is currently working closely with our MD Steve and Heidi in accounts bringing her wealth of accounting experience to a busy role. Outside of work Karen is a busy mum of two who enjoys getting out and taking walks with her pooch. When she does get time to wind down she loves swimming, cross stitching and reading a good book.
Thomas Berry is a welcome addition to the String Team, in his previous roles Thomas was the sole support technician prioritising, escalating and resolving all support requests through the business. Focused and level-headed Thomas is now part of our bigger team and is proving to be an outstanding support technician with a wealth of knowledge all things Microsoft. Outside of work Thomas is a keen snowboarder, he loves his cold weather holidays and can hold a conversation about snow conditions and ideal snow depth better than anyone we know.
Becky Brindle is often the first friendly voice many of our clients hear when contacting String, primarily supporting the Account Management team Becky assists with quote preparation, supplier liaison and equipment sourcing all whilst providing telephone assistance to clients with support requests and updates. Outside the office is just as busy for Becky with two young sons keeping her on her toes, she loves to be involved taking them to activities and clubs as well as spending as much time as possible with her husband.
Infrastructure Technician Apprentice
Jason Prince (Jay) has taken his first step working towards a career in IT, as an apprentice he supports the technical team assisting with equipment preparation, repair administration, PC decommissioning and learning from his technical colleagues under the guidance of Andy Carter. Jay is currently working towards his Microsoft qualifications which will serve him well with his future ambitions. Jay has demonstrated resourcefulness and out of the box thinking to help improve internal reporting and provide colleagues with visibility on current bench work. Out of the office Jay regularly attends the local climbing wall with his brother Craig as well as being a keen (albeit average performing) PC gamer.