Former 4Projects, now Viewpoint, VP EMEA Steve Spark leaves Trimble’s UK construction collaboration Software-as-a-Service technology business, with a former Sage executive joining the Newcastle firm.
Viewpoint EMEA commercial director Steve Spark is leaving the now-Trimble-owned construction collaboration Software-as-a-Service technology company to become CRO at a haulage and logistics software company based in his native north-east of England.
Spark joined 4Projects (as it then was) in December 2005, and has been a key member of the management team over the last decade, working with CEO Richard Vertigan to help grow the UK-based business and to negotiate its acquisition by US construction ERP specialist Viewpoint in February 2013. After Vertigan stepped back from the business in September 2013, Spark became interim MD, helping the business through a number of key transitions including expansion of the business’s sales and development teams, relocation from its Sunderland base to new offices in central Newcastle, and rebranding of the core solution from 4Projects to (eventually) Viewpoint For Projects. When I talked through the 4Projects changes with him and Viewpoint VP Matt Harris, they were planning to grow the 4Projects product footprint across the EMEA region, and to add new Viewpoint products, including mobile solutions.
In April 2014 Viewpoint received a US$230m investment from Bain Capital, and started to spread its wings. Alun Baker joined 4Projects as its new MD, as the business continued its profitable growth, buoyed by increased UK owner/operator adoption of its services to support building information modelling (BIM). And before the end of the year, Baker and Spark – as commercial director for EMEA and global SVP Sales – were briefing on the company’s acquisition of MCS and its Priority1 mobile data capture and reporting solution, later rebranded as Field View.
The following summer (July 2015), Viewpoint announced a new CEO, Manolis Kotzabasakis. He instigated some changes, creating a functional, rather than regional, reporting structure across the Viewpoint group, as a result of which Baker left the UK business in 2016, with Spark now leading the UK operation, taking responsibility for collaboration and Field View sales in the US and in Australasia, and continuing to capitalise upon the UK adoption of BIM. And he has remained in this role through this year’s US$1.2bn acquisition of Viewpoint by Trimble (announced in April 2018).
“A fantastic business in a fantastic industry”
Always passionate and enthusiastic about the construction industry and about the SaaS collaboration sector in particular, Spark assures me his decision to leave Viewpoint has nothing to do with the Trimble deal (which completed in July 2018 – news release).
“Viewpoint is a fantastic business in a fantastic industry. It has been an outstanding journey with 4Projects and then Viewpoint, and I have learnt so much. We have developed an amazing team and customer base – passionate people that want to help the AEC sector improve and help deliver better projects and assets.
“I will miss construction tech, and leave feeling the job is half done. While adoption of collaborative solutions is far greater than it was back in 2005 – and that’s great to see – it’s still only really the beginning. Over the next ten years or so, I expect we will see a move toward true ‘integrated data’ flows connecting the AEC tech stack and supply chain in ways that we have only dreamed of to this point.”
Spark leaves Viewpoint on 7 September and will be succeeded by former Sage executive Steve Attwell. Spark says: “He is a fellow north easterner, with a fantastic wealth of experience that I think will help take Viewpoint to the next level.”