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Paul Fick

30 Mar 2020

“Be nice to nerds, chances are you will end up working for one.” This is one of the more popular quotes from the world’s foremost philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. When we think about people who work in the technology environment, often the word that immediately comes to mind is “nerd” or the other less charitable description - “geek”.

The fact is these people have changed the world, quite literally. Think about how the world of work, information technology, entertainment and communication has changed in the last 20 years.

These changes would not have materialised if the people we call “nerds” or “geeks” did not possess something more than just an obsession with technology. To succeed in a world where just about everything evolves in a matter of days and long-term is described in months not years, you have to be pretty smart to cope and thrive.

And if you are going to transform your tech-savvy disposition into a profitable business venture, you need a little bit extra. You need good business acumen and some good old-fashion emotional intelligence.

This is what has made DataVoice a force to reckon with in both local and international markets. Over the past 22 years in the business, I have learned one beautiful universal truth -- to succeed in our business being smart is enough to get you through the door, but to succeed and thrive you need a good understanding of what makes your client tick, a strong people focus and to be a strategic thinker.

Strategic thinking means different things to different people: to me it is quite simply understanding how what we do and the solutions we create for our clients will create value and impact in the long-term and anticipating how the world is changing so that the solutions you offer stand the test of time.

While we do typically attract people with qualifications in computer science and electronic engineering at DataVoice, I believe you stand a better chance of making it in our world if you can deploy, with some ease, what we call systems-level thinking -- but also have an entrepreneurial orientation which is to ask the question: how do I creatively solve a client’s problem in a manner that results in significant value creation.

We have built a business by focusing on people and their challenges, and then to develop and deploy world-class solutions. I do not mind telling you the world would be a very different place if the likes of DataVoice did not exist. For example, there would be fewer actionable and legally acceptable records of transactions between people in the business environment.

DataVoice operates in an industry where competition is fierce, and you therefore need to be results-driven. By demonstrating outcomes that add value to clients you will build a business with the kind of global stature that DataVoice enjoys. A large part of our client base is in fact outside our domestic (South African) market.

Our client profile is not an accident of nature, it is because from the beginning we focused on a cluster of things that make our products and services a few notches above the competition. Our partners, to whom we as the original equipment maker (OEM) supply our solutions, are global household names. They choose us because we have intelligent, people-focused, hard-working, results-driven people with a head for business.

To learn more about DataVoice’s services visit

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