Select the directory option from the above "Directory" header!

One on One: with ipScape's Fiona Boyd

One on One: with ipScape's Fiona Boyd

“Be authentic and be yourself" is a key piece of leadership advice from Boyd.

Fiona Boyd (ipScape)

Fiona Boyd (ipScape)

Credit: Supplied

Adaptability, resilience and persistence were a few of the leadership qualities instilled in Fiona Boyd, CEO of ipScape from early on in her career. Boyd's first professional role exposed to her a variety of skills that eventually led her to founding the Australian operation of Brokat and learning valuable lessons in having the right business fundamentals in place. 

What was your first job?

From an early age, I worked in a range of different roles including paper rounds, chemist shop assistant, demonstrating Yamaha electronic keyboards in shopping centres, barmaid and waitress roles, selling ‘hot nuts’ in pubs, and even being a DJ in a nightclub.

These roles instilled in me the values of adaptability, resilience and persistence. The experiences also ignited my passion for entrepreneurship and creating a better future through hard work and dedication.

One of my earliest jobs while still at university was when I worked part-time in a call centre taking bets for the TAB, which led to a fascination for customer experience and communication technology. I would be on the phone, taking last-minute bets from very stressed-out punters for all races including the Melbourne Cup. Often, they just missed out with only seconds to go before the race closed, and I would think there must be a better solution for this.

The role helped me build valuable communication skills with people from all walks of life and to engage with different personalities. This was my first exposure to the contact centre industry and provided a glimpse into how technology can make or break the customer experience.

How did you get started in the IT industry and progress to where you are today?

My professional career after leaving university led me to initially work with the Arthur Andersen Management Information Consulting Division, which is now more widely known as Accenture. 

There, I worked with a range of companies including major banks and government departments where I developed skills in project management, client engagement and systems/application development. 

I subsequently attained executive roles in technology and financial information systems within companies including the ASX, Citibank, Reuters and eventually a global e-commerce start-up called Brokat, which was listed on NASDAQ with a market capitalisation of $5 billion. I founded the Australian company and operations for Brokat and built a software business and large technology team which focused on providing online banking and early mobile payment technology solutions for major financial institutions.

After Brokat was dissolved following its global bankruptcy as part of the dot com boom and bust during the early 2000s, I was appointed initially as the CIO, and subsequently the COO of Ticketek where I led multiple initiatives to help enable the digital transformation of the company. 

As COO, I was responsible for all multi-channel services provided through online, contact centre, agency and box offices throughout Australia and New Zealand. I led a large team including the technology and development group in addition to Ticketek’s technology subsidiary – Softix, established for the export and licensing of ticketing software throughout Europe, US, and South America. 

After almost 10 years with Ticketek, I was offered a role with Salmat as the COO of customer engagement, responsible for a portfolio of business units across Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines including contact centre services, e-learning and speech recognition technology. 

After a stint working with an NFP accelerator for women entrepreneurs, I was appointed to my current role as CEO of ipScape, a cloud-based customer experience technology company enabling Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions for clients in financial services, telecommunications, utilities, government and retail. 

The company also distributes software solutions via international channel partnerships established in Asia, UK, US and Europe.

What has been your biggest business mistake and the lessons you’ve learnt from that experience?

My biggest business mistake was when I took on too much as the founder of the Australian operation for Brokat. When I started the company, I bravely and enthusiastically, together with my local team, signed up multiple contracts with major Australian banks and financial institutions. 

However, we ran into some issues which effectively meant we needed to create almost from scratch the actual products and technology ourselves rather than sourcing from the global group. 

The one saving grace was that I was able to assemble an incredible local team with some amazing developers, QA resources and technology leaders. 

It took literally many all-nighters, some blood, and plenty of sweat and tears along the way, but we got the technology to where it needed to be, and we delivered on the contractual commitments that I had signed and was ultimately responsible for as the sole Australian director.

This experience taught me to look beyond the façade, to back my judgment and that nothing substitutes for getting the basic business fundamentals right. Do we have the right product? The right team? The right marketing and sales strategy? The right operations and support infrastructure? The right backing and capital structure? And ultimately, the right culture and leadership? Because all these components need to work together in harmony, to create a strong and sustainable business.

What are some of your plans for ipScape in the coming months?

We will continue building momentum through our international expansion and grow our business through additional channel partners in key markets including Asia, Europe, and North America. We are also in the midst of strengthening our platform’s digital capabilities because as we know, the world has changed, and more customers prefer to interact through multiple touchpoints.

Digital natives now demand to engage with companies through social media and messaging platforms including WhatsApp. As customer communication preferences evolve, so do we as a technology company.

What are some of your ambitions?

I want to continue supporting and encouraging the next generation of leaders. I am passionate about empowering women to see that they play a valuable role in technology and the immense contribution they can make to shape the future.

Although we have made major strides in gender equality, I know there are still many women who experience prejudice, sometimes it is not obvious, but there is an undercurrent of old assumptions about what women are capable of. This must finally change, and working as an executive in technology, provides me with the opportunity to continue being part of that change.

That is why I was so honoured and delighted to have been recognised as executive of the year at the recent Women in Digital awards. I was not aware of my nomination until I was shortlisted, and I certainly did not expect to win.

 What has been the best piece of advice you received?

“Be authentic and be yourself.” There were not a lot of female leaders and role models for me earlier in my career, so all I had was the resolve to be myself.

I needed to be true to myself, and not try to adopt perceived ‘leadership traits’ that were stereotypically male characteristics. I believe women should have the courage to back themselves, and to lead with the attributes that come naturally to them including leading with empathy and enhanced communication skills.

Don’t second guess yourself because you are a woman, have the confidence and courage to stand up and speak.

Another piece of advice I really valued receiving was: “It’s not about you, it is about the team”. 

This was about overcoming fear, and to realize it is not about me, it is about other people and the impact I can make on the team and the business. 

Sometimes we can get trapped in our own thoughts and it stops us from achieving what we want. Broadening your focus and realising how you can make a difference, shifts your perspective, and can help you take those leaps of faith.

Follow Us

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments