Our latest ‘Meet the Team’ interview is with our new Chief Technology Officer, Heather Upchurch who tells us all about her new role, technology in the automotive industry and a few of her favourite things...
Tell us a little about yourself
I’ve led technology teams in various industry sectors throughout my career, notably 16 years within the automotive industry, but I’ve also worked in the construction, ecommerce, payments and retail industries to name a few. When I’m not at work, I love nothing more than walking down to my local beach in Teignmouth with the family. It’s dog-friendly, so my Shihtzu/Toy Poodle (Shihpoo for short!), Teddy loves it too.
What do you hope to bring to Dealerweb?
Dealerweb has gone from strength-to-strength in terms of its technological advancements, notably in the past couple of years which has seen the launch of Dealerweb React, plus the development and release of the new Dealerweb Showroom system.
With my experience in leading technology teams and developing products, I’m looking to ensure that this momentum is maintained and honed. In my role I’ll be leading our innovation strategies and ensuring my knowledge of latest technologies and processes gained in previous roles is adopted and adapted to improve user experience, efficiency and connectivity.
What do you think is the key to good automotive software?
For me, the key to good automotive software is integration. With so many different systems available to both dealer and manufacturer, the need for these systems to connect with one another is essential. Our customers are busy enough as it is without having to worry about double-entry and system switching, which is why one of my aims is to ensure our products remain as integration-friendly as possible. We’ve already done some great work with providers like CDK on this front, and I look forward to developing both our third-party relationships and our technology further to ensure maximum connectivity possibilities.
And, finally, a few of your favourite things….?
It’s rare that I take the time to sit and read a book but when I’m relaxing on holiday, I enjoy a good action type thriller, most recently having read The Girl on the Train.
My favourite films have got to be Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption, Forest Gump, Bridget Jones and of course the Bond films with the exciting Aston Martin car stunts!
I love to travel and see the world and have been fortunate enough to have seen some amazing places but my favourite of all is Barbados! Just beautiful.
I worked at Aston Martin for seven years and in that time got to see a lot of what the manufacturer had to offer. The DB9 is most definitely on my wish list!