TCM, one of the largest HPE NonStop (Tandem) managed service providers, celebrates two decades of providing NonStop services to their customers worldwide.
Tony and Daniel Craig are a father-son duo that are a major force behind TCM. Offering on-site and remote managed services for HPE NonStop users worldwide, TCM’s wide range of services helps customers cost-effectively manage their HPEE NonStop environments and ensure sustainable support and resourcing.
Today, TCM is investing in the next generation of NonStop support consultants and Tony is also joined by his son, Daniel Craig, who joined the company following the completion of his project management degree. Daniel works on TCM’s quality assurance programs and with the project teams on a range of service requirements, from complex NonStop migrations to delivering NonStop system audits and health checks.
TCM (Tandem Computer Management) was started in 1996. At the time, Tony was an ex-Tandem person working on service quality management, and he saw an opportunity to provide a range of managed services for Tandem users. At that time, customers were struggling to retain the wide range of skills required to support their Tandem systems at an affordable cost, and they saw a need for managed service solutions. They won our first contract with the Bank of Scotland in 1996 and that service grew to the point that they were providing everything to do with their Tandem systems: applications support, systems management, operations, hardware support and supply, and all their projects. Different services were devloped, and word-of-mouth brought new customers to TCM. Before they knew it, they were providing a wealth of services to Tandem users.
It is the relationship between Tony and Daniel, however, that makes TCM's story truly unique.
Tony recalls weekends when he worked at Tandem when Daniel was young and he would bring him to the office with him on the weekends. For them, that's when their "working" relationship really started. "As a young child I used to find it quite entertaining to go and charge around an empty office. I would draw pictures and photocopy my hand and that sort of stuff—I loved it," Daniel remembers. This, of course, led to many fond, and oftentimes humorous, memories.
"I would head for the conference room whiteboard, which as a kid is one of the most incredible things you could ever see, to be able to draw on a big, white surface and then wipe it away and start again. I remember one instance where there was a new whiteboard and I expressed my artistic, 5-year-old talents in earnest but unbeknownst to me at the time, the new white board was actually a large new projector screen," says Daniel.
"It didn't come to light until a few days later," Tony recalls. "We had some important customers coming in for a presentation; they were all seated comfortably in the board room, and down came the projector screen. No matter what we did, drawings of cars and animals showed clearly through every slide presentation, so that was comical."
"That was my introduction to the world of Tandem," Daniel says, "but as a kid it was just a big playground. I have quite fond memories, and the company always seemed to have a family focus. I remember going to the Christmas parties and knowing a lot of my dad's colleagues at the time. Now I still bump into them because obviously in the NonStop community there is that closeness and togetherness."
Daniel went on to college to focus on project management and business development, but always was kept up-to-date on the happenings at TCM from his father. Once he finished with his studies, he began to chip in on special projects. After a while, it made sense for him to finally "officially" join the TCM team and the family-oriented company culture continues today.
Since many of the team members at TCM come from Tandem backgrounds, that deep-rooted culture is very present. "We love that culture because it’s open and has a flat management structure. I’ve been fortunate that the consultants who work with us at TCM all feel like a part of it. They all feel a responsibility, and they all want to see things develop, improve and grow. They embed themselves very quickly into that type of culture: they say, 'What can we do? How can we improve things?' We don't seem to have anyone who comes in at 9am and leaves at 5pm," says Tony.
"We've built a team culture," Daniel adds. "We grew up around each other, so there's never someone who goes, 'Well that's your problem'. Everybody is always willing to pitch in and help, run through a scenario, answer questions, and so on. That's how we’ve always managed to learn and grow, because of that idea of sharing and pushing each other. It's a supportive and encouraging place to work, and I hope all the people who work here feel that way."
Thanks to this attitude and focus on family, TCM understands that happy employees means a thriving business.
Now, TCM is a strong company with offices in Scotland, England, and Ireland that serves Europe, India, and the United States. They pride themselves on their "Center of Excellence", a centralized pool of expert resources that manage their customer’s systems, operations, and so on. It gives their customers and TCM great flexibility and resilience because experts are always available.
With both managed and consultancy services available in a wide variety of industries including a specialization in health care, TCM is making waves in the NonStop space.
You can read our full interview with Tony and Daniel in the the November/December issue of The Connection.