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Justin Thomas

Hello, I'm Justin Thomas, Head of Analytics Support at Portal.

My name is Justin Thomas and I am an IBM Technical Specialist who helps global businesses to design, build and integrate their Business Analytics server platforms. Customers who benefit from my expertise may have some of the following requirements: -

  • Design, install and roll out of IBM Cognos Software
  • Upgrade existing versions of their IBM Cognos products
  • Problem resolution within an existing IBM Cognos product environment
  • Technical Audit / Review of existing IBM Cognos BI, Planning, TM1 or Controller software
  • Enhanced support with pro-active maintenance



During the critical phase of designing and installing your IBM Cognos software environment you are effectively laying the foundations of your whole Business Analytics environment, the importance of using an experienced Technical Consultant at this stage cannot be underestimated.



Special care and must be taken during the upgrade of an existing IBM Cognos environment, be it to new servers in a new datacentre or a move to the latest version. It is important to work with a consultant who has experience and knowledge to competently build the platform and to migrate and upgrade your data ensuring a smooth transition.



The technical specialist role requires superb problem solving and analytical skills to help with efficient fault resolution. This is an area where I am highly qualified to assist customers using the wealth of experience gained whilst working with a wide variety of IT systems since 1996. An example of when to engage an IBM Cognos Technical Specialist could be where an existing support case is logged with IBM but a faster, more focussed problem resolution is desired. Having an experienced technical consultant on-site can expedite problem resolution in most cases.

Justin Thomas's Background

Justin Thomas's Experience

Head of Analytics Support at Portal

October 2012 - Present

My work at Portal requires that I continue to deliver technical consultancy services to our customers, ensuring that all of our customers have an IBM Cognos software platform that performs reliably and efficiently. To do this I keep my skills up to date with all of the latest IBM Cognos product releases. Further to the delivery of technical consultancy services I have responsibilities to help expand Portal's support offering around the IBM Cognos software services and to ensure the delivery of high quality support and enhanced support to our customers. I am currently working with the following IBM Cognos products: - IBM Cognos Business Intelligence (8.2, 8.3. 8.4. 8.4.1, 10.1, 10.1.1 and 10.2) - IBM Cognos TM1 (9.5, 9.5.1, 9.5.2, 10.1 and 10.1.1) - IBM Cognos Controller (8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.5.1, 10.1, 10.1.1) - IBM Cognos Planning (7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 8.1. 8.2, 8.3. 8.4, 8.4.1, 10.1, 10.1.1) Older products are now featuring heavily in upgrade and migration projects rather than day to day support and development. ================================================== ABOUT PORTAL ================================================== Portal is one of the UK's leading business and technology consultancies. We are famous for helping some of the world's best known brands transform the service they provide to their customers. Blending high level business consulting with best of breed technology has enabled our clients to streamline information, cut costs, improve customer acquisition, maximise customer satisfaction and uplift profit through improving the customer experience. Our brand is testament to the power of exceptional customer service. We have retained over 97% of the hundreds of clients that have worked with us since our inception in 2006.

Solutions Architect / Owner at Planit CPM

January 2010 - October 2012

Planit CPM was jointly owned and run between my business partner Murray Pullin and myself for over three years before we joined Portal, during this time we had the pleasure of working with fantastic customers and IBM business partners on a wide variety of projects. My own role within the business was to provide technical consultancy and architecture services to our customers all based around IBM Cognos software products and their supporting technologies, I also had the responsibility for providing software support and advice to our own clients and those of our business partners. Outside of these day to day activities I developed my skills in selling and up-selling consultancy services and support agreements, social media and marketing and website development.

Cognos Application Manager at Vodafone

January 2007 - December 2009

I worked with Vodafone for over two years, though most consistently during early 2007 and 2008. On the days I was working for Vodafone I was responsible for supporting their Cognos technical environment which contained Cognos 8 BI, PowerPlay and Cognos Planning. Vodafone operated a vast system with three distinct environments (Dev, Test and Prod) where each one was completely stand-alone and isolated from the others on the network. Access was provided via HTTP and Citrix only allowing me to make use of my Citrix administration skills.

Technical Consultant at Frea Ltd

2006 - 2008

During my time running Frea Ltd, I run the business as an independent consultant providing technical consultancy and support services to a growing number of direct clients and Cognos partners.

Senior Technical Consultant at Inca Software

March 2006 - November 2006

Whilst my time at Inca Software was brief, it was joyous, working part time for three days each week during the hottest summer I can remember. My role involved the delivery of technical consultancy services, installing Cognos Planning, Controller and Business Intelligence and also providing third line support to Inca's customers.

Technical Consultant / Database Administrator at Civica

October 2005 - March 2006

Taking a brief break from on-the-road consulting I took on a support consultant / DBA role within Flare systems (taken over by Civica shortly after I joined). Day to day activities involved the administration of a VMware based test environment where customer issues could be replicated and providing technical support for customers with SQL Server based software systems. It took very little time for me to miss on-site customer interaction however and so my time at Civica was brief.

Senior Technical Architect at Cognos

March 2003 - October 2005

I initially joined the Best Practice Lab as a Technical Consultant providing a mixture of on-site consultancy and lab based support and testing services to customers using the Cognos Enterprise Planning software. As time progressed I expanded my range of services to include Cognos BI and Cognos Controller technical consultancy before moving into the newly created European Enablement team. My role within the European Enablement team was to provide technical enablement to suitably qualified consultants across Europe and to help our European customers with complex issues that required on-site support.

Technical Support Specialist at Adaytum

March 2001 - March 2003

At Adaytum I was a member of the customer support team where I provided second-level-support to customers who were using the e-Planning Contributor product. This occasionally involved on-site work to install the software or troubleshoot installations suffering from performance or other issues. Initially the product was Microsoft SQL Server based only, but I gained my first experiences of Oracle 8i once the newer product versions were released.

Computer Programmer at Carmarthenshire County Council

1999 - 2000

Provided computer support to the various council departments. Built the foundations of the corporate intranet.

Junior Systems Programmer at Pembrokeshire County Council

1997 - 1999

Despite the job title I did little or no programming, it was a desktop and server support role.

Justin Thomas's Education

Ysgol Gyfun Bro Myrddin

1990 – 1995

Justin Thomas's Interests & Activities

Linux, Computer Programming, Security, Business, Cooking, Movies, Weight Training, Exercise, Music, Technology, Humour

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