Alison Wheeler | Résumé
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This résumé lists all major positions I have held since leaving college. Other part-time and temporary positions have been held. Details can be supplied on request. Since Autumn 2009 I have been a volunteer guide two days each month at the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park.


1984-1997 &

Business Consultant, The Creative Organisation

2006-2009CEO / Chair, Wiki Educational Resources Ltd t/a Wikimedia UK

2005Consultant, Karmasphere

2003-2005Chief Technology Officer, NWUK

2000-2002MBA Student, Open Business School
electives: Strategy, Financial Strategy, Marketing in a Complex World, and Creativity, Innovation and Change

2000Chief Technology Officer, narrateo

1999-2000Head of Technology, Capital Radio Group - Interactive

1997-1999Group Internet Program Manager, CHS Electronics Inc

1979-1984Business & systems Consultant, Sperry Univac

1978-1979Sales & Marketing Support / Analyst, British Olivetti

1976-1978Computer Systems Programmer, Spillers Group[more]

Speaker panels and Conference Invitations have included:

July 2008International Youth Advisory Congress, London
(Organised by Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre)

[external link - IYAC]
[external link - CEOP]
Mar 2008London Business School, London

Oct 2007The British Library, London

Oct 2007AOP Online Publishing Conference 2007, London

[external link]
June 2007The Dana Centre at the Science Museum, London
"Web 2.0" (spkr)

[external link]
Jun 2007Apeldoorn Conference, The Hague
"Facing up to Reality: Choices for a Sustainable World"

[external link]
Oct 2006Belgo-British Conference, Brussels
"Globalisation & the Citizen:
Citizens' access to information in a globalised world"

[external link]

Business & Services Consultant

The Creative Organisation   (1995-97,2000-present)

logo of The Creative Organisation Growing out of earlier solo work, providing general consultancy, training and support services, including value-added hardware sales and network installation, plus design of and advice on web (internet & e-services) sites by providing a source of best practice.

Subsequent projects have included advising a US-based CRM company on how to make multi-lingual and multi-cultural websites; a major start-up during the launch of their web news and e-purchasing service; planning an e-finance start-up and designing an integrated security framework for a ASP-model web stockbroker.

More recent clients have included two candidates for the UK Parliament, various campaign groups, and an iPhone app-related startup.

Chief Executive & Chair

Wiki Educational Resources Ltd t/a Wikimedia UK   (Feb 06-Jan 09)

Wikimedia UK WER was set up as the UK face of Wikimedia, to provide a focus for the projects in the UK and raise money to fund operations and other activities. A non-profit company, I was appointed to the position of Chair and Chief Executive in January 2006, with our initial activity being to raise the profile of the organisation in the UK, gain charitable status, and assist the US-based Wikimedia Foundation – which operates the very successful wikipedia online free encyclopedia and other open wiki-based reference services.

This was a voluntary (unpaid) position.


Karmasphere   (Dec 05)

Providing systems design and implementation consultancy to this California-based start-up, including design of an SQL-based schema to manage the customer billing and user management systems.

An NDA remains in place.

Chief Technology Officer

NWUK Ltd   (Dec 03-Mar 05)

Approached to join the start-up of this business seeking to enter the direct sales insurance market in alliance with a nationally-known charitable organisation. Created and developed the back-end support and membership system with an integrated internet/telesales ecommerce offering alongside a public internet site with user interaction and multi-level security features. Originally planned to launch mid-2004, delays in licencing IP rights between external organisations resulted in a Board decision in Spring 2005 not to launch as intended. An NDA remains in place until all outstanding issues are clarified.

I designed the IT systems architecture that the business was to be built upon, including a major database schema to enable the functions of the business and its associated organisations, alongside hardware / software selection and developing protocols for the web and other internet functionality. I also input into the development of the business plan and additional marketing concepts and external relationships. Open Source software was selected as the foundation of these systems; FreeBSD + Apache + PHP + MySQL.

MBA Student

OU Business School   (Oct 00-Oct 02)

Whilst studying the course I also undertook a number of short consultancy contracts and some part-time, mostly voluntary, work for various bodies including the Head Office of the Liberal Democrats (which continued until February 2003).

Senior positions in 'New Media' businesses   Nov 99-Sep 2000

Between these dates I held three positions in the internet field as a member of the management teams, focused on the technical challenge of meeting the commercial demands but staying very hands-on technically. I resigned from the last post when it became clear that future funding of the company wouldn't materialise and in order to commence my MBA course.

Chief Technology Officer

Narrateo Ltd   (Jun-Sep 00)

narrateo A board member of this small (£1m t/o) marketing media content company, aiming to bring the information and entertainment techniques of broadcast television to new media. Founded out of Invincible Films, a small television documentary programme maker which has won two Royal Television Society awards and been nominated for a BAFTA, in order to concentrate on web and e-content production for a range of narrowband, broadband, kiosk, WAP, DVD and internet applications. I reviewed and specified new technology infrastructure for new offices and development requirements for new business direction alongside evaluating bid proposals.

I started with the company after attending the June 15 Board meeting and joined the company officially on July 1st, developing a staff and equipment structure for the new development department for web and interactive platforms and working with the Editorial Director in bid submissions. I also re-designed the company's website to use css and meet current coding standards ready for the rebranding.
[organisation chart]

Head of Technology & Production
Rapido net   (Interim Appointment: Mar-May 00)

A short-term position where I was reviewing options for the proposed internet delivery for their product, I also initiated recruitment process for five new staff; upgraded net connectivity; selected replacement e-mail and web servers; reviewed content development process and advised on a change of the development platform from Apple to Windows.

An interim position, I was presented with an opportunity to create a web content service almost from scratch, including selection of hardware and development software, staff recruitment, reviewing network services, developing micro-payments, etc. for this well-known media company. Although a permanent position was discussed I did not stay as I found the company to have insufficient budget available to meet their requirements.
[organisation chart]

Head of Technology

Capital Interactive,
Capital Radio plc   (Nov 99-Feb 00)

Capital Radio"s New Media Division - Capital Interactive Managed the development and support teams for the web and new media activities of this major national radio group; member of the shadow board as the division prepared to be spun off. Technology member of core team analysing new systems requirements, selecting development partners and tools; directly responsible for designing and implementing new internal and external network configurations and developing systems architectures to support the new plans; providing the design department with graphics, HTML and CSS technical assistance; liasing with suppliers and recruiting new staff; specifying, selecting, planning and scheduling new equipment and connectivity to provide best value for money and maintain high service and availability levels (SLAs).

On joining I was responsible for managing the move of the whole department to a single office and also worked with other departments within the group to support their individual internet plans.

Operating in very much a 'hands-on' mode due to early recruiting restrictions, I was also involved in registering many new domain names as part of our name protection project, and designed the initial site for Capital's first national station 'Life' which was one of the early digital broadcast (DAB) services.

We also installed new Sun Solaris servers for additional web services and an Oracle 8 database; moved to MS Exchange from Novell Groupwise for e-mail; selected software from OpenMarket, eHNC and Engage; installing 2.5Tb of HD/Tape storage for serving streamed music radio; installed Win2000 for domain, network and file/print services and I designed the architecture for additional streamed services and functionality.

Additionally, I was present onsite over the millennium eve night to confirm all our systems and services continued to operate into the new year (as well as to take advantage of the view from our boardroom of the celebrations on the Thames as we were supplying the music for the fireworks!)
[organisation chart]

Group Internet Program Manager

CHS Electronics Inc   (1997-99)

logo of CHS Electronics Responsible for managing the development and implementation of the e-commerce and all internet-related activities of this Fortune 500 (#320 in '98, #189 in '99) Miami-based $12+bn t/o multinational computer distributor and analysing the systems and business processes from existing ERP and local solutions that could be leveraged into the group deliverable to the internal clients - the MD's of the (effectively autonomous) subsidiary companies. I created and developed the technical architecture of the CICERO e-commerce service, systems security and infrastructure components and I was responsible for the contract with and management of external software developers in the UK, Norway and Sri Lanka. When keeping to a schedule became critical I also coded a couple of the HTML and VB modules.

As the senior person in the group for internet matters I reported to the group CIO and also travelled extensively to the European subsidiaries and suppliers, meeting with relevant managers to promote the business benefits of the e-commerce service and advising on how best to market the advantages that the additional sales channel would produce, in addition to co-ordinating the technical aspects of implementing the service in their subsidiary. A world-wide roll-out of the system to some 50+ countries was scheduled with early pilots running in the UK, Belgium and Germany and the first live sites in Estonia, Sweden and The Netherlands.

Responsibilities also included other concurrent projects and the co-ordination of development teams from various countries together with budget responsibility and scheduling the installation of the facility in each of the group's companies. MS Project was used to track the (approx.) £1.4m main project which included the full development lifecycle from requirements gathering (inc. integration, interface & infrastructure issues), project planning (inc. dependencies & scheduling), build tracking and testing, issue management and change management. I also attended various conferences on e-commerce, including the first CyberChannels in 1998 in San Francisco where I was the only UK practitioner.

My responsibilities also included the co-ordination of development teams from various countries together with budget responsibility and scheduling the installation of the facility in the group's CHS, DNS, Karma, Metrologie, Frank & Walter, ISI and other subsidiaries. MS Project was used to track these activities. As part of this I travelled extensively to the European subsidiaries; promoting to their management the business benefits of an e-commerce service and advising on how best to market the advantages that this additional sales channel will produce.

Each subsidiary ran their own site and version of the software to enable local buy-in to the project and enable local-based stock control, pricing, advertising, and sales taxes together with locally-determined product ranges and pricing and this was successfully implemented on a rolling basis.

Because of the need for the system to run on local equipment sourced at each location and with local and remote support capabilities then Intel-based kit was chosen running MS Windows NT4 and MS SQL. It was recognised that this would not present the best possible throughput on the system but resources would be available in most countries rather than the problems that resourcing Sun, AIX, unix or solaris skills might represent. The roadmap for the project did however include alternate arrangements as the rollout reached the full subsidiary network and an overlay structure could be implemented.

The DCOM/ActiveX-based system interfaced with ERP systems from Scala, JBA & SAP and operated in a range of languages and cultures across West and East Europe to provide registered customers with real-time and customer-based pricing, stock availability and ordering, together with allied account information and support services.
[organisation chart]

Freelance Business Consultant


Major projects included design and development of a real-time financial futures & commodities trading system; software analyst on project for on-line ship insurance; consultant and designer for the computerisation of direct marketing operations for a life assurance company; a monthly periodical; a prospective restaurant chain; a cable television channel; research and development of an on-line retrieval system for a book for a financial publishing house and support for a film scriptwriter. This freelance work, rebranded, became The Creative Organisation, detailed above where I continued to deliver to schedule and budget.

Other projects included: Support Analyst-Programmer for the Metropolitan Police's METCAD X25 computer network & supplier and, working through agency on contract to various clients.

Business & Systems Consultant

Sperry Univac   (1979-84)

logo of Sperry Univac Pre- and post- sales consultancy, analysis and support, including customer and prospect liaison with lead responsibility on behalf of the company up to board level. Full project life-cycle from conception to final installation, including developing and writing of proposals, reports and presentations; responding to tenders; liasing with developers; software testing; auditing and solving customer problems; teaching programming, analysis and system procedures; confirming financial specification of proposed systems; analysis and bespoke programming and technical sign-off on bids.

In Finance division 79-81 and 82-84 where I was primarily involved with banking and insurance companies, with the intervening period in the Government & Special Industries division, which included MoD and the utility companies. the position entailed recognizing the appropriate solution from the company's broad product portfolio range, designing and evaluating the prototype solution, responding to and documenting the customer-facing proposal and presenting the results, and contributing QA and support during the development cycle.

Work performed solo and in teams, as member and as manager on projects valued between £50k and £10.5m. UK specialist for Mapper product - a 4GL - from arrival of product in 4/81, which included periods as systems co-ordinator for Sperry's International Division, as UK liaison to USA and on pre-release QA of new software. Also Health & Safety Officer.

Sales & Marketing Support Analyst

British Olivetti   (1978-79)

logo of British Olivetti Member of business and technical sales support team, including customer liaison, presentations and demonstrations, writing proposals and marketing documents, help desk, writing bespoke software (including datacom handlers, order entry systems, office automation products and the UK's first screen-based word processor), producing and presenting courses and creating documentation, managing customer marketing & sales events, providing technical pre-sales support to sales team and direct to prospects & customers, from initial meetings through to education and final installation. First Aid Officer.

Developed prototype screen-based word processor on DE700 series equipment for demonstration to Lloyds of London, prior to availability of dedicated machines. This was believed to be the UKs first screen-based word processor when otherwise only 16-character on-keyboard displays were available.

Other fields covered included the design and implementation of communications protocols, developing on-line real-time systems for Finance, Insurance (data recording & quotations), Office Automation and various order entry/stock control services including Bill of Materials processing and Estate Agency

Computer Systems Programmer

Spillers   (1976-78)

logo of Spillers Ltd Supporting UK data communications network and allied systems software on a 120-node UK network. Designer of new communications network (protocols, network configuration and control software, based on Burroughs B80 series) for Foods division and led of implementation team. First Aid Officer. Based at the group's head office, supporting UK data communications network (star-spur configuration, around 180 nodes) and allied systems software using structured methods and reverse engineering as applicable.

The team operated primarily in a 'fire-fighting' mode which required the tracing of faults in software, firmware, networking and hardware with the use of line monitoring tools although my first task on joining the team was to spend three months discovering how the main communications program worked as all the patching over the years had made the documenting totally out of date!

A major project was the planning, design and specification of new communications network and protocol for Spiller's Foods Division, including the software and node network layout, which was based on Burroughs' B25 minis communicating to the Head Office's dual mainframe; designed block protocols and wrote the mainframe communications handler (MCS) program; supervised the programmer of the B25 end.

Freelance Tour & Production Manager

   (p/t 1989-94)

An occasional tour/company manager, responsible for liasing with venue management and local technicians. In early 1994, I was one of the directors (and Chief Engineer) of Brazen Radio Ltd - the first London (2nd in UK) Women's FM radio station. [more]

organisation charts

Narrateo Organisation Chart

  |           |              |       |
Editorial  Operations   Technical  Financial
Director   Director     Director   Director
& company                    |
 founder               IT Support Mgr
                       & Production Leaders

Capital Interactive Organisation Chart

Main plc Board
  |             |               |
(Radio)   (Advertising)    MD, Interactive
        |   |  |      |      |      |      |
HoD's: Mktg | Sales  Tech  Design  Radio  Retail
	 Editorial    |
  	            Perm: 2 prog, 1 dba, 3 ops
  		    Contract: 2+ prog, 2 others
  		    plus additional staff from

Rapido Net Organisation Chart

        |       |              |
HoD's: Finance Editorial    Tech&Prod
  	           Designer  &  Asst Designer
		   Programmer & Jnr Programmer
  	           Operations Assistant

CHS Electronics Inc Organisation Chart

Main Board in Miami, USA
 | | | | | | | | | |            |    <IS function
(Regional&National Subs)       CIO   <based in UK
International   |     |         |          |
Program	      JBA   Scala     Internet    EDI
Managers     (ERP)  (ERP)       |
  		    No direct reports, although
	    	    recruitment was an option.
		    Outsourced development to
	   	    companies in UK, Norway and
  	    	    Sri Lanka; staff from each
		    of which worked for me
		    alongside local site staff at
		    each test and rollout location
Alison Wheeler | Résumé