Jimmy Dean, Head of Solution Architecture 

Growing up in rural Broken Hill gave Jimmy Dean, Harvest’s Head of Solutions Architecture, a deep appreciation and understanding of remote environments and their unique challenges. The father-of-four now calls Perth home and thrives on uncovering and designing the perfect solution to any customer need. For Jimmy, there is nothing better than solving a complex problem and satisfying the customer in the process.

Joined Harvest: March 2019 
Qualifications: Electronics Technician, Australian Navy 
What did you do before joining Harvest?  

After working with the Australian Navy, I moved into mining – starting with the Pilbara mine circle – and then went offshore with Subsea7 working on remote operated vehicles (ROVs). From there, I worked as a project manager for Fugro, the world’s leading geo-data specialist. At the time, there was a growing demand for video streaming offshore and the technology simply wasn’t available. I got together with Jaron Warburton, now Harvest’s Chief Innovation and Technology Officer and said, “Let’s see if we can make this happen”. We became so busy with it that we left Fugro and started our own company which Harvest acquired in 2019.

What are your responsibilities in your current role at Harvest? 

As Head of Solution Architecture, my role embodies designing and selling fit-for-purpose integrated technology solutions to customers that solve operational challenges associated with remote communications and data delivery.

What do you love about your role?

I love working with our team and customers to build a successful solution. When a customer comes to me and says, “We’ve got this problem!” I go back to the team and work on developing a solution to meet their requirements. Sometimes that solution won’t be a straight off-the-shelf package, it could be something completely left field or cutting-edge and that gives us an opportunity to investigate synergies with other technologies. Going back to the customer with a solution and seeing them as excited as we are about its success – that’s what I enjoy the most.

What keeps you inspired? 

When a company approaches us to help them transform the way they do business. Usually, it’s not the upper manager that comes to us, but an engineer or IT expert. We demonstrate our technology to them and work with them on operational trials before taking it to their management for sign off and roll out. They come to us with a need – to work more efficiently, to reduce delays and downtime or to operate cleaner environmentally – and it’s satisfying to be able to hit all those key requirements. I love building lasting relationships with our customers as we work together through this process.  

Do you have a particular highlight since working for Harvest? 

It’s exciting to be part of a team of 40 people at Harvest that gives us the capability to deliver globally and to a more diverse range of customers. I am proud of how the company has changed and grown – to think that four years ago there were two of us working in our sheds and now we are in a purpose-built innovation facility developing world-class technology – that’s an awesome achievement!

What’s the greatest challenge right now?

Our technology was originally designed to solve a specific problem for offshore services in the oil and gas sector. The technology has evolved extensively since 2019 and our current challenge is expanding and diversifying our customer base to include maritime, resources, emergency services, defence, and utilities. This involves solution trials and educating customers on how to transform their operations and the internal change management that comes with that, to help them on their way to full organisational roll out. Depending on the size of the organisation and the number of assets, roll out can be challenging.

What’s the most remote location that you’ve ever visited or would like to visit? 

Considering I was born and bred in Broken Hill (NSW) – which is extremely remote – and worked most of my life in the Navy, at mine sites or on offshore vessels, I’ve had my fair share of living and working in remote locations. Nowadays, not being so remote is a welcome change! Having said that, growing up in a small town with freedom to explore the great outdoors has its benefits. That’s something I appreciate compared to the city life my kids are growing up in. I give them a taste of it by taking them camping at remote places.  

How many kids do you have? 

I have four kids, three girls and a boy. My 24-year-old daughter was born when I was in the Navy, and I only saw her six weeks during her first year. I also have a 21-year-old son, and similarly, I was working offshore when he was growing up. My youngest daughters are seven and five, and I’ve worked onshore since they were born. I’m making up for a moments missed with the first two.

And what do you do when you’re not working?

My family lives near the beach, and we spend a lot of our spare time there. Other than that, camping with the family is the highlight of my life these days.

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