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Admiral Tech

The people that make our digital vision possible: Meet our Head of Change, Matt

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Admiral Tech

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Blog

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24/06/2020

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Technology is getting smarter by the second, which makes this a hugely important department but one which is also fun, friendly and relaxed. We believe that an informal, team-spirited environment where people pull together, especially in times of pressure, increases productivity. Matt, Head of Change, started at Admiral 13 years ago and has had various roles throughout his career here; from Technical Project Manager to CIO, and now he’s Head of Change. Matt’s also more recently completed his MBA at Cardiff University (not to mention also completed an Ironman outside of work!). What do you do in Admiral Tech as Head of Change?I look after all change for the UK Insurance Business with a focus on technology.What do you enjoy most about working for Admiral Tech?I’ve always liked the fact that if you’re willing to try something and get stuck in, there are lots of opportunities, your destiny is in your own hands. It’s also a healthy environment to work in.What do you think really sets Admiral Tech apart from the competition?There are a few things here; the fact that we’re the biggest tech employer in South Wales, given the size of the department. Also, we talk about becoming a tech company that sells insurance, but really this has always been the case. We were the very first direct-to-phone insurer, there’s Confused tech – the very first comparison website and Elephant - one of the first direct to consumer web only insurance providers. Tech has always been at the heart of the business and continues to be.We understand the importance of digital to the future and we’re investing a lot into it.Do you think there are lots of opportunities to grow and develop here?We have a sizeable budget for learning and development – we’re investing in certification courses, through to an all-encompassing online learning tool, PluralSight. Staff also have the ability to learn as part of their day-to-day job.  What’s the culture like at Admiral Tech and how is it changing?We’ve moved from having a structured waterfall approach to an agile environment and culture. We are seeking to give our Delivery team as much autonomy as possible to deliver and prioritise their work.What’s the most exciting project or upcoming change happening within Admiral Tech?There are a few ongoing.. We are embracing digital to ultimately delight customers.  We also have our move to cloud – using new cloud technology for scalability and flexibility, amongst other exciting projects and changes.Where is Admiral Tech heading?I think that tech is moving to an eco system based model generally over the world and if you’re not capable of playing in that field, you’ll be left behind.We’re embracing the power of tech more and more with rapid progression in tech as a key investment of the business. How will the department look in the future?The business will drive prioritisation, and tech will increase and improve to deliver what is needed. I think we’ll see fewer conversations about tech and the business being two distinct things and everything will be a change project.It’s an exciting opportunity for people given the point in the journey we’re at and the level of change that’s around the corner.

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Allison Martin

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Allison Martin

Allison Martin

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Allison Martin

International Women’s Day: Tabatha’s Story

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Admiral Tech

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Blog

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06/03/2020

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Let’s celebrate the women in our business! As the UK’s third Best Workplace for women in 2019 we’re keen to raise awareness against the bias and take action towards equality.We spoke with Tabatha, a Product Owner within our Online Department to hear about her career experience in Admiral and celebrate her success. ‘’I joined Admiral in 2015 as a Claims Handler. After I passed my probation, I went on to join a specialist team within the department. I was lucky enough to be asked to complete a full review of our claims journey which resulted in me heading into the Project Manager world. As a Project Manager I was responsible for several. Recently, I have moved to our Online Department where I am now the Product Owner for our online journey.’’                                            ‘’A lot of the projects I have been involved with have required a good understanding of processes. One of my strengths is that I can quickly pick up a new process and understand where improvements can be made and how these can be implemented. With so much interaction working with different business areas, I am constantly learning and developing my understanding of the business and its processes, this gives me the confidence to ask questions and challenge why we do what we do.’’ Talent can be found in so many different places not just work.  Don’t be afraid of pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and taking risks in work and your personal life. I believe that talent shines when you are happy doing something, so spend time in understanding what makes you happy and what you enjoy!  ‘’Admiral has great management; they took a chance by giving me exposure to projects that potentially could have been better off with someone more experienced. This trust and support has allowed me to grow in confidence and go onto bigger projects, without being nervous of failure.’’

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Samantha Bevan

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Samantha Bevan

Samantha Bevan

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Samantha Bevan

Tech and Employability - Kimberley's Story

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Admiral Tech

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Blog

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27/02/2020

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Kimberley, currently a Delivery Manager within Admiral Tech recently sat on a panel at Cardiff University’s Careers and Employability event. Alongside Doctors and a range of business professionals, Kimberly shared her honest experience of her career.‘’Coming from a small village in Cornwall, like many others, I didn’t know where to take my career. I knew I enjoyed Maths, so I thought I would start by giving university a whirl! I applied for a maths teaching course and was accepted to university, but after completing some work experience, I knew teaching wasn’t for me. Even at that early stage of my career, I thought I had already made a mistake. I went through clearing and found a regular maths course and begun at Portsmouth University. Not every choice I made, even in the early stages was a clear decision, how could it be when I didn’t know then what I wanted.’’‘’In my final year, I was still not at the point where I knew exactly what I wanted to do, so I felt a graduate scheme could offer me some good experience, and a chance to explore my options. I then began my career enjoying my time as a Developer, but I knew I wanted to progress. I then moved into management which offered further challenges and variations.’’‘’My goal was always to be a Development Manager, however, that was a big step at that point in my career, so instead, I was offered a steppingstone to prove myself in setting up an entire Testing department. This gave me great exposure and  provided me with an opportunity to become the first female, and youngest Development Manager in another company. Of course, this was quite intimidating, joining largely male dominated committees, plus moving to London but when things seem scary at first, they simply become the norm very quickly.’’ It’s very rare for anyone to plan out each step in their career, but I see that as a good thing. I’ve learned what I want during my journey, and even though each step has been scary, I’ve settled into it, then you then look out for your next scary step. ‘’As a mum of twins balancing the world of work and life, Admiral have made this achievable and given me the flexibility to be successful. I work a 34-hour week which allows me time with my family and allows me to run a full area, being party to all relevant discussions. Our IT team all have laptops, allowing us all the facility to work from home. We measure productivity rather than hours with all our activities being able to take place remotely or on premise. Looking back to finding a last-minute university course in clearing, though all the opportunities and experiences to now, I do believe anyone can carve out a really successful career, even if you are not sure of your end goal when you begin.’’Thank you to Cardiff University for inviting us to be part of a key event in supporting the STEM women of the future. 

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Samantha Bevan

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Samantha Bevan

Samantha Bevan

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Samantha Bevan

Admiral takes 1st place at the International AppDynamics Hackathon!

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Admiral Tech

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Blog

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21/01/2020

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A huge congratulations to our winning team, including James (Delivery Pipeline), Owen (R&D), David (R&D) and Simon (Ratabase) who represented us at the international AppDynamics Hackathon back in December, well done all and thanks for your hard work! AppD, our suppliers of our telematics technology, ran their first ever two-day hackathon event in December, which involved 7 teams (Collinson, Admiral, Plusnet, Ikea, Natilik, Cognizant and Cisco) hacking IoT devices to create some incredible innovations.Highlights of the two-day eventWe caught up with Simon to hear how the event went.‘’We came up with the idea of an automated pill dispenser controlled by a connected web application, intended to help those suffering from dementia to manage their own medication.On day one, we arrived at the Hackathon armed with a couple of Raspberry Pi’s, a motor, some CD spindles and a gift box bought from WH Smith. In just 28 hours this had to be transformed into a working product and pitched to a panel of judges. We got to work coding, cutting, drilling and wiring, and slowly the DispensR product took shape.We had been up early for the 5:55am train to London and worked into the small hours, a dedicated but motivated team. Day two dawned with some frantic hacking, before the dreaded pitch. We had 5 minutes to present to the group and judges, then two minutes of questions. We presented and the judges seemed impressed. There was a nervous wait until the winner was announced. Team Admiral was victorious! Photos, handshakes, celebratory drinks and Team Admiral got a late train back tired but elated and ready to defend their title at the next Hackathon!’’WinnersThe judges agreed that it was a tough decision, but Team Admiral however stole the show! Well done team!

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Samantha Bevan

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Samantha Bevan

Samantha Bevan

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Samantha Bevan

Admiral Tech Hackathon

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Admiral Tech

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Blog

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25/10/2019

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On Wednesday 25th September, the entire Admiral Tech team were invited to take part in a hackathon. With around 25 attendees signing up, the hack included The hackathon took place in our newest building, Capital Quarter, where our Tech team took over an empty ground floor, which provided a dedicated space where the teams could work comfortably.The teams were made up of five or six people, armed with all the important stuff…..snacks, lots of coffee and Gregg’s sausage rolls, and had to work together to plan, design, develop and build their chosen idea. The hackathon ended on Friday with each team presenting their ideas to a panel of judges.It was very difficult to choose one winning team, as they all performed well in different areas:   Team 1: Best realised ideaTeam 2: Best tech stackTeam 3: AdmiralEco – best product ideaTeam 4: Best view on how to deliver – commercially thought throughThe overall winner being Team 3, with a brilliantly executed idea!We caught up with Wayne, our Head of Architecture and part of the hackathon organising team, to get his thoughts;“It was amazing to see so many different groups of people come together so rapidly and produce something tangible. The panel was very impressed, and it was tough to choose one winner!The idea of this hackathon was to bring the department together to work collaboratively and encourage rapid idea generation and creation. We wanted to use it to learn and play with new technologies: no restraints and away from the regular place of work. Some great products have been born from hackathons, which is what we wanted to achieve, so watch this space! It was a great day. Everybody was smiling, not only was it cool, it was fun and a great few days. We will be doing this again for sure! Wayne - Head of Architecture Favourite quote from the two days…Can I get you a cuppa? Shut up, I am learning JavaScript!

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Kate  Williams

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Kate Williams

Kate  Williams

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Kate Williams

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