KeyPoint Intelligence Employee Profile: Introducing David Sweetnam
Industry Vet Fueled by a Passion for All Things Document Imaging
David Sweetnam has over 25 years of experience in the imaging industry. He joined BLI in 2007 and has since spent much of his time spearheading the creation of multiple test programs that push printers and MFPs to their limits. A trailblazer, not to mention a vital piece in the development of our overseas operation, Sweetnam has played a big role in helping the BLI brand spread throughout the world.
|David Sweetnam, Keypoint Intelligence’s Director of Research and Lab Services for Europe and Asia, enjoying Japanese culture during an Onsen (hot springs) weekend break in Hakone.|
The Journey to BLI
After graduating from the University of Reading in 1990 with an Honors BSc degree in Chemistry and Food Science, Sweetnam began selling PCs, printers and other electronics for the John Lewis Group, “I can still remember selling my first 4-ppm laser printer for a mouth-watering £4000, connected to a £2000 Olivetti 286 PC with Windows 3.0, 2-MB RAM and a 20-MB hard drive—boy have things come a long way since then,” he said.”
Within a year, Sweetnam advanced to advising blue-chip companies in the UK on communication solutions. In 1993, he was recruited by BERTL—BLI’s leading competitor at the time—and tasked with turning the organization’s newsletter into a commercial venture. “Having reached the giddy heights of 25,000 readers and an enviable list of household name technology advertisers, I found myself more drawn to seeing what was going on in the lab rather than wining and dining media buyers.” He quickly became the most senior analyst for BERTL and developed a passion for “challenging anything that made ink or toner marks on paper, pushing it as far as it could go, and often beyond.”
For 18 months, Sweetnam traveled back and forth from BERTL’s UK and the US before settling in New Jersey as the Vice President of Research and Testing. In 2007 Buyers Lab’s then CEO Mike Danziger reached out to him, and shortly thereafter Sweetnam accepted the offer to move back to his home country to help open BLI’s first European office, which included a lab.
Life at BLI
Having recruited BLI’s first European lab technician, writer, and data researcher, Sweetnam turned his attention to developing production print test program in preparation for the 2008 drupa trade show in Germany. Océ quickly took advantage, requesting that BLI’s European lab conduct a 10-million page test on its flagship VarioPrint 6250 model, while Sweetnam’s presentation at drupa garnered significant attention from the press.
Another early initiative was the introduction of local language reports and the development of a German and French language bliQ database. Since 2008, Sweetnam has expanded the lab and editorial teams exponentially to keep up with ever-growing demands.
In 2013 he formalized the European Solutions Lab, working with all major vendors to compile a comprehensive collection of MFPs equipped with the latest open architecture platforms. His goal was to “offer ISVs and OEMs a unique software test environment, as the lowly copier quickly moved from being a standalone box to an integrated workflow kingpin.”
With the operation bursting at the seams, last year Sweetnam led the task of finding of a new home for BLI’s European office that would accommodate growth and become the overseas headquarters for both BLI and InfoTrends (now KeyPoint Intelligence). He’s also responsible for supporting the Asian market and makes multiple visits to Japan every year to develop the business. During these visits, Sweetnam gets to meet with the teams that develop the industry BLI works in and help them with product development and strategy direction, while taking the time to soak up Japanese culture and visit major Japanese cities, too.
Outside of BLI
When work is done for the day, Sweetnam goes home to “a great family.” His wife, Sally, “has put up with me for over 14 years,” he joked. Both of their kids were born in the USA: Emily, 13, is a precocious bookworm who has already written her first book; and Harry, 11, is an avid gamer and cricket player. Sweetnam coaches at Harry’s cricket team in the club in their hometown of Wokingham, a hobby he describes as rewarding and stress relieving. And as a proud Welshman, he enjoys supporting the Welsh rugby team as well as Liverpool Football Club (or “soccer” as we call it in the US). The family appreciates traveling, eating delicious food from around the world, and spending quality time together.
|The Sweetnam family “doing” Disney in 2015.|