The real Zenotech – cloud computing isn’t just for Christmas

Have you caught the latest festive movie, “Office Christmas Party”, yet? This Hollywood film features a tech brand called Zenotek run by Jennifer Aniston, whereas the real cloud computing company Zenotech was brought to life by directors and co-founders, David Standingford and Jamil Appa.

We thought it was the perfect time to get to know the real Zenotech a little better so over to David and Jamil …

1/ Zenotech is the name of the cloud computing tech firm in the “Office Christmas Party” movie. Can you briefly tell us the inspiration for the company?

Zenotech specialises in computational engineering software technology, specifically high performance computing applications and the use of cloud computing for advanced modelling and simulation. We based the name on Zeno of Elea, the ancient Greek philosopher whose paradoxes (such as Achilles and the tortoise) were designed to challenge the understanding of motion. The development of Calculus (by Isaac Newton and others) formally resolved many of these paradoxes but interestingly the uncertainties introduced by Quantum Mechanics have given Zeno’s paradoxes a new lease of life. What a great guy! Tech, of course, just means tech. We had our name translated into Chinese a few years ago and it was pronounced “Zeno Tau Shay”, which means “Special Science”.

2/ How is your management style / skill set different from Zenotech’s movie CEO, Jennifer Aniston?

Of course Jennifer is welcome to visit us at Zenotech any time but a major difference is that all of the staff members in the real Zenotech are technologists – whether computing specialists, mathematicians, IT security experts, or engineers. Everyone has their own area of expertise and we work together to solve problems and make great products. It was a relief to see the team in the film produce some new technology to save the day, though in our experience the 1% inspiration moment generally has to be followed by a solid 99% of development work!

We’re also keen to support science and technology more broadly – so we’ve run schools competitions in the past (such as the SPEED Bloodhound SSC aerodynamic design challenge) and contribute to a number of national technology panels and special interest groups.

3/ “Office Christmas Party” celebrates tech teams working together to achieve a common goal. What makes a good tech team in your opinion?

A good technology team is one that knows what it is aiming to achieve, and has the skills and resources it needs to deliver. We collaborate very widely with other technology and research organisations to develop new features and concepts. We like to see our products making a positive difference in the real world so we work directly with end users of our products to make sure that they perform as needed.

4/ Why would you say that Zenotech’s EPIC product is the ideal Christmas gift for engineers?

Our elastic, private, interactive, cloud portal (EPIC) is an easy way for engineers to get instant access to very large high performance computing (HPC) resources on-demand, i.e. when needed. No more waiting in queues for in-house clusters with a deadline looming. EPIC provides virtually unlimited computing at the lowest process, securely and easily accessible over the internet with pre-installed application software. It also provides secure data staging, account, and organisation and job management with consolidated billing. What could be better for Christmas?

5/ What does Zenotech usually do at Christmas time when it comes to the office party?

Pub lunch, then back to the office for more exciting technology.

6/ If money were no object, what would your ideal Office Christmas Party be?

Pub lunch, then back to the office for more exciting technology!

You can stay in touch with David Standingford and Jamil Appa via Linkedin.