Job title Managing director.
Company Bell Microsystems.
Year of birth 1961.
Place of birth Hillingdon.
Career outline I was a commercial diver, but now I am managing director of Bell Microsystems.
What motivates you every morning to get up and work in the channel? Working in such a dynamic, fast-moving industry where new technologies and solutions are constantly being introduced. This is combined with the fact that we can find innovative ways of harnessing the latest technologies to help our customers move their businesses forward.
What has been the most over-hyped technology in the past five years? I really don’t believe that any of the technologies we work with are over-hyped. However, on occasions when it takes time for end-users to adapt their IT strategies – and their budgets – and take advantage of new technologies, the channel can be a little impatient.
What will be the most underrated technology in the next five years? There are some very promising new concepts and technologies. As technology integrators, it’s our job to have the foresight to recognise their full potential and then to take individual products and components and deliver a seamlessly integrated solution that addresses real business pain points so that promising technologies aren’t consigned to ‘the underrated technology file’ in five years’ time.
Which technology would you most like to have invented? The telephone, both because of the incredible advances in communications that came from its invention and because subsequent generations of communications technologies are still driving new benefits for businesses and individuals. However, it’s worth considering whether the original phone’s reliance on analogue technology temporarily arrested the development of digital technology.
Do you have any regrets from your time in the industry? Absolutely none, apart from the fact that there’s never enough time for a decent lunch.
If you could swap places with anyone in the industry, who would it be? Jim Clark, founder of Silicon Graphics and Netscape Communications Corporation, so that I could sail Athena, his 90m, three-masted schooner, thought to be one of the world’s largest privately owned sailing yachts.
What is the biggest hurdle you have faced in your career? With Bell Microsystems’ sustained high rate of growth, virtually every day brings a brand new set of challenges. So it’s less about overcoming one or two big hurdles and more about meeting every new challenge head on.
What is the biggest success of your career? Using my snooker table as a work bench and turning an initial investment of £5,000 into a company with a £20m turnover in just nine years.
What piece of technology could you not live without? My mobile phone and BlackBerry.
What would be your advice to anyone starting a career in IT? Establish and stick to your own unique value proposition, because there are enough companies out there without them.
What would you like for Christmas if you could have anything? A small chateau in Pessac-Leognan, the home of Bordeaux’s earliest wine estates.
What is your favorite karaoke song? Complete Control, by The Clash.
What would be the title of your autobiography? A Punk’s School of Business.
Do you have any phobias? No.
How many beers before you fall over? A few.
Number of staff you manage? 7.
What car do you drive? Mercedes-Benz S Class.
Number of air miles you have? Very few.
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