Alun Rogers is Co-Founder and Director of risual, a Microsoft technology business based in Stafford.
risual is one of the most successful Microsoft partner businesses in the UK, having been awarded the prestigious Microsoft UK Partner of the Year in 2015, from over 28,000 partners.
Alun’s career in computers began as an engineer at CMS Stafford, then Lynx Technology, where he rose to the title of Architect. He was awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award, having worked with the computer giant on security software development, ranking him as one of the foremost experts on Microsoft security in the world.
Alun then created risual limited with co-founder Richard Proud in 2005. Within nine months they had become a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, an accolade which signifies the most highly accredited independent technical support providers and, by 12 months, had revenues of £700,000 and seven employees.
In 2008, risual led one of the world’s largest private email projects for the NHS, subcontracted by Cable and Wireless, which opened the doors to large Microsoft 365 projects. The company’s success continued with awards including Best Company to Work For since 2015, being listed in the Top 100 of the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For in 2015, 2016 and 2018, and being named Best Place to Work by the British Computer Society in 2015 and 2016. The company now employs around 170 staff and have a £13m turnover, with a trajectory to £50m in the next five years.
Alongside the growth of the company, risual has focussed on driving youth employment in the region and developing the next generation of IT skills. Alun created an education solutions business within risual, also incorporating a graduate programme, seeking to address the IT industry’s skills shortage directly. Beginning with Stafford College, the company has partnered with a range of further education institutions across the country, setting up risual academies providing digital and IT skills training. Taking on around 20 risual apprentices a year, Alun estimates that between 40-50% of the company’s employees originate from their apprenticeship programme.
The skills initiative sparked interest from the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) across the UK and Alun is now Vice Chair of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership, which includes Staffordshire University Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Liz Barnes on its Executive Board.
The Award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed upon Alun in recognition of his key role in growing the region’s reputation for digital skills and capability, his support and advocacy for Staffordshire University in championing the criticality of digital skills for the future of the country and investment in the development of digital apprenticeships.