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An ICE White Christmas

by Asa Sargeant | December 18, 2019 | Q&A | 0 Comments

I'M fairly certain that the boys will be working next week”, begins Lois Patient when we ask her what the founders of TheICEway will be up to this Christmas. As the Executive Assistant to both Ian Richardson and Conor Byrne, Lois knows their every move, so whenever one of them is needed, Lois is usually the first port of call…

DREAMING. That’s what I’ll be up to on the night before Christmas, whilst the boys will be flying to Europe”, Lois continues as we press her for more details on the movements of Ian and Conor. As TheICEway prepares to enter a very important period, we’re keen to understand how they are approaching what could be a defining year for the company. Specialising in IT for the cruise industry and travel industry for more than 20 years, TheICEway and its sub-brands are poised to make waves in 2020 with appearances at major cruise events and some exciting new products and services available for cruise lines.

OF course, it probably goes without saying that the team at TheICEway have been working extremely hard in 2019 too, with appearances at the Seatrade Awards, Seatrade Europe, the International Cruise Summit and the CLIA Executive Partner Summit in just the last few months alone – and that doesn’t even begin to cover it in terms of the events and shows attended.

A huge range of IT Consultancy and Managed Services from ICE Technology Services were also complimented by the arrival of a brand-new product for the cruise industry from our CRIBB Cyber Security brand; CMCA, aka the CRIBB Maritime Cyber Assurance solution. TheICEway were also winners of the prestigious Barclays Biz4Biz award for Best Service Provider – quite the calendar year!

WHITE or black?”, asks Lois when we request a coffee. She delivers it with a smile and a happy proclamation:

CHRISTMAS! The time of giving!”, she laughs. With beverage in hand, we continue with our interview…

JUST to be clear, are you serious when you say that Ian and Conor will be working over Christmas? They must really like working!

LIKE it? They love it! It is their company, their passion; they are always working even on holiday. TheICEway is also at a really important juncture and so they know they have to be completely focussed right now.

THE next year is going to be an important one, correct?

ONES more like – we’re thinking a lot further ahead than just 2020.

I imagine that it is a very exciting time right now, with TheICEway specialising in cruise and the cruise industry booming?

USED to be exciting I would say, now it’s AMAZING! The extent to which IT in cruise has grown in recent years is directly correlated to the growth in demand in terms of passenger numbers and their expectations. IoT, for example, has led to people expecting a lot more touchpoints and technology on board cruise ships, and with more devices available the possibilities of cyber-attacks and the overall risk to cyber security increases.

TO think that a lot of people used to go on a cruise to get away from it all, and now they think they’ll be able to keep in contact with everyone and everything in the middle of the ocean!

KNOW. They know they’ll be able to do that – it’s amazing. But again, the ability to communicate from a cruise ship in the middle of nowhere brings with it a lot of dangers and that is one of the reasons we have been so busy in recent years.

WHERE would you say is the busiest area of the business for TheICEway?

THE busiest area… Our ICE Technology Services Service Desk is always very busy because they are available 24/7, 365 days of the year. Our experts at CRIBB Cyber Security are also often rushed off their feet too, with a Data Protection Officer service seeing them on call a lot of the time – not to mention the other products and solutions they offer, plus all the certifications they hold and need to keep on top of!

TREETOPS are often beautiful and delicate – bear with us on this – but a long way below them is a solid trunk, keeping everything together. Would you see yourself as the trunk at TheICEway, providing a solid base so that the other team members can shine and glisten?!

GLISTEN?! I’m not sure what you are taking (!) but that was a horrible analogy and if anyone was the ‘trunk’ it would be Ian and Conor! We have a really strong team here who are all dedicated to their work and I’d like to think that we all complement each other.

AND how do you see 2020 playing out? Do you think that in 12 months’ time we will all be laughing and content, like children?!

CHILDREN? Possibly but the analogies are not getting any better! I would hope that we will be very happy this time next year, but we will not take anything for granted and we will only be happy if our clients are happy.

LISTEN to what you just said: “we will only be happy if our clients are happy” …

TO a man here, we are all strongly focused on our clients. We listen to everything they say to us.

HEAR everything?

SLEIGH rides are most popular during the festive season. That is a given. Just as us hearing our clients when we listen to them is a given.

BELLS is my ideal Christmas present – the whiskey, that is. What would be your ideal Christmas present? (Seeing as it is very nearly Christmas!)

IN my opinion, the best thing you can get at Christmas is a happy reaction from the people you have given a present to.

THE best answer that question could have received. Finally, we’re hopeful for a year filled with sunshine for yourself and all those at TheICEway, clients included. But are you hoping for a White Christmas?!

SNOW? If it makes the children happy, why not?!

NB: We have merged coercion with changes to some of the answers given here to inject some fun into this piece and to fully embrace the festive season – we hope you like…

Glossary

TheICEway – An ecosystem of companies that provides a complete IT solution for cruise and the travel industry.

Seatrade Awards – An annual awards ceremony that was established in 1989.

Seatrade Europe – An event for cruise industry leaders from the European cruise market and from around the world.

International Cruise Summit – A yearly event recognised as the only forum of global knowledge on the worldwide cruise industry that is held in Europe annually.

CLIA Executive Partner Summit – The flagship event for CLIA, the Cruise Lines International Association; the Summit offers CLIA Cruise Line Executives and Executive Partners the chance to get together for 3 days of business sessions, networking and fun.

IoT – Internet of Things, an interrelated system of computing devices, machines, objects, people or animals with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without human-to-computer interaction or human-to-human interaction.

Top Tip

If you are in the cruise industry and need help with IT, we’d love to hear from you; after all, we are cruise specialists and so it makes perfect sense!

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