Colin Richardson formed on365 (known as Universal Power Systems until November 2007) in 1984 to meet the growing user demand for UPSs to be supplied with higher levels of pre and post sales support. Starting with just two employees, it became one of the first companies to meet this demand for continuity of support. In the first year turnover exceeded £100K and has steadily grown since then.
One of Colin’s first jobs after leaving school was at the BBC where he was a technician responsible for the design of radio and TV broadcast equipment. He then joined Loughborough Consultancy, the commercial arm of Loughborough University. There he spent several years selling its research capabilities to the commercial world. Projects included research into TV aerials and development for the aerospace industry of non-destructive test equipment for laser-based technology.
Colin also spent six years working for Gould Inc, a major US-based UPS supplier. Starting as a sales engineer, he progressed to sales manager before being promoted to European product manager for AC products. When asked to explain the company’s current success, Colin says: “The long-term commitment to customers and the integrity of our staff has set us apart from other suppliers. We have always taken a longer term view of the needs of customers rather than cutting corners to make a short term profit.” With a keen eye on the future, Colin is currently in the process of completing a Business Growth programme for SME’s at Cranfield University School of Management. He is confident of continued success for the company: “Having established on365 as one of the UK’s leading independent suppliers of protected power solutions, customers started to ask that we expand into other areas of the datacenter. They wanted someone who they knew they could trust to deliver the whole solution. That was five years ago and we now cover it all. Now our customers are starting to look at the NCPI of the datacenter as a platform to match a business service level and not just something that is installed and then forgotten about. Colin lives just outside Loughborough and, in his spare time, enjoys dining out, listening to music of all kinds and travelling around the world experiencing different cultures.