Solstra was set up by Stuart Bonell. Stuart has worked in technology for over 30 years starting with 9 years at Accenture. While there he avoided the mass “droid” projects and was at first a techie doing unspeakable stuff to power stations and banking kiosks as well as creating and leading their first “Internet” development centre. He attended Netscape’s first ever training session with Marc Andreessen as a tutor where he literally got the T shirt (but sadly didn’t keep it). He later helped pharmaceutical, insurance, broadcasters and publishers create and deliver early forays on to t’Web.
He later joined a specialist Web agency so he could keep doing fun and interesting stuff and to create a consulting arm. This period saw him leading work on building some of the more advanced UK commercial Web sites and applications at the time. These included what is now the mapping and route-finding site viaMichelin for Shell (a first at the time) and the UK’s first mortgage comparison and broking site.
He was later CIO for a UK plc in national security and defence doing “big data” before it was called that (is it still ?). As CTO of the UK’s leading market research and insights business, dunnhumby (part of Tesco plc), he introduced Agile product development and led technology enablement of rapid international expansion. Dunnhumby’s SaaS products leveraged shopping data from ~£1 in every £8 spent in the UK (we knew what you were going to have for tea before you did ;-)).
As well as envisioning and building tech, Stuart learned about how to make it reliable and secure leading the technology team at managed services startup Attenda. He later returned as CTO to move the business to being a hybrid cloud service provider (i.e. doing AWS and Azure combined with our own hosting and managing the lot). Attenda provided inhouse and public Cloud infrastructure and application management to clients such as Royal Mail, National Trust and DX. He’s been called on since by some of the biggest data centre companies on the planet to carry out inspections and assist investors in assessing targets.
Many of his roles have included attaining and maintaining stringent information and technology quality, operations and security certifications such as the catchily named ISO27001, ISO9001, and ITIL as well UK government Top Secret and higher clearances (we could tell you, but then we’d have to kill you). Stuart has worked within extremely formal methods for software and IT operations, but also introduced and championed Agile methods and DevOps.
The technology, techniques and systems only become truly cool and fun when doing something worthwhile and it’s these examples which keep us going. Starting a power station using less fuel, enabling people to find the best mortgage more easily, improving healthcare by gathering patient feedback; when we look back it’s these which stand out and we’re always keen to help clients do stuff which makes things just a little better.
Stuart’s background across all phases of the IT lifecycle and working in every size and stage of organisation, has given him an understanding of not only what good looks like, but what is realistic to expect of technology at a given stage in a business’s development and what is needed for success at the next stage.
Solstra also leverages an an extensive network of experts across the IT landscape to meet client needs.
Solstra is a trading name of Solstra Services Limited, a company registered in England and Wales, company number 10061034. Our VAT registration number is 251 2551 35.