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FunctionEight Ltd. Hong Kong. IT Support, Outsourcing, Web Design and Development.

 

 

Martin Abert

Martin Abert
Martin Abert

Chairman

Why the 'missing link' is key to IT success

Most people might baulk at being labelled the 'missing link', but FunctionEight Managing Director Martin Abert is comfortable with the description.

"I'm the link between the hardened IT techies and our clients who, like most normal people, are mystified by computers. I translate the client's needs and wants to the technical staff - which is a link that is missing from most other similar IT solutions providers."

Being a Land Surveyor by profession with no previous IT training, Martin is in a good position to communicate the benefits of systems/solutions and preventative maintenance in layman's terms - and as somebody who is passionate about meeting people and talking (in the broadest terms) about how FunctionEight's services can benefit all businesses, it's a role he is ideally suited to.

By the same token, Martin is able to mark down the transition from Land Surveyor to computer consultant - while building the company up to HK4m in annual turnover in just five years - as a major accomplishment.

"We achieved it without having had to borrow so much as one dollar, and we're not done yet," says Martin.

Moving from land surveyor to technical computer support is not the only evidence of his versatility - he now lives in two very distinct worlds. Half his time is spent in the fast paced and frenetic - but very exciting - Hong Kong, and the other half in the laid back, fishing and golf orientated New Zealand.

"The old urge to travel the world is also always lurking just below the surface."

Speaking of which, FunctionEight has offices in three countries. The Hong Kong office (located in an area called Tin Hau, just next to Victoria Park and Causeway Bay), a Shanghai office and a New Zealand office, which is in partnership with Tranzsoft Global in Rosedale Rd, Albany.

Martin's chief passion in life is his wife and two daughters, who he says have turned his life upside down.

"I used to do a lot of sport until my daughters came along. Now I'm not even fit enough to run for the bus if I'm late."

FunctionEight is in many respects a by product of his more than six years of focus on the replacement HK airport project, where he ran a 70 strong survey team responsible for every construction contract on the airport platform.

"We had five offices in total around the platform (with one being in the head office in Wanchai). Computing was key to everything we did and many of the systems we developed were based on pure common sense.

"However, I did realise how key these same systems could be in any business sector, business process automation and knowledge management. The dotcom came and went, but it was around long enough to tempt me to take the plunge and start my own business sharing simple yet effective tools with others," says Martin.

Since then, FunctionEight has developed into a major player in the Hong Kong IT market.

"We are not, and don't try, to be the cheapest - but we do offer a quality and professional level of service that sets us apart from competitors. Our clients enjoy working with us and we with them. Our team has been instrumental to our success - choosing that right team and keeping them together is very important."

Martin says a rule of thumb for all of FunctionEight is that the company is only as good as the client's last recollection of them.

"We always have to be on our toes and striving to provide the best possible service that we are capable of. It's why we have survived when so many others haven't."

Having started with nothing, FunctionEight is now a company that services clients in some way, shape or form in HK, Mainland China , Japan , Singapore , Taiwan , Switzerland , UK , New Zealand , Australia , North America, Canada and South Africa.

"And we are still only a small company at the beginning of our full potential."

Martin's formula for success?

You are only as good as your clients most recent memory.

 

 

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