Job title: Managing director
Place of birth: Leigh, Lancashire.
Year of birth: 1958.
Marital status: In relationship.
Career highlights: Founder of dabs. com.
What do you love most about the IT industry? Its lack of worker discrimination and restrictive practices (although these are creeping in, as they do in mature markets).
Which company do you most admire or respect in the IT business? Computer 2000 [C2000].
Which individual do you most admire or respect in the IT business? Paul Cusack, founder of ebuyer.
What is the biggest technology trend you anticipate in the next 12 months? Mobile phone internet content.
What is the one thing working in the technology industry has taught
Never rest on your laurels.
Where do you think the channel will be in five years time? I see much VAR consolidation, with maybe 200 to 500 players. Vendor staff will be greatly reduced, as functions are centralised. Software will be sold on agency basis. Channel marketing will be mostly web-based, except for conferences, print and so on. VARs will let C2000 and co invoice the hardware, and collect commission. Distributors and vendors will insist on 100 per cent web-based administration. Mail order and consumer retail will continue, but competition will be less fierce. PC building will be at the top end only, like server rack building, as finished PCs sell for £99. Vendors will try to stop their products being discounted, and vigorously prosecute parallel importers. Eastern Europeans will replace Asians in the box-shifting sector, writing fiendishly clever algorithms to operate web sites which work on perfect market information. Many worthless smoke-and mirrors-tricks, like Òprojectors need specialist sales and supportÓ, will be invented, particularly in IT security and licence compliance. Software vendors will move to a direct download model, and to rental with maintenance instead of outright sales. Channel value will mainly be writing bespoke add-ons to Office, NT Server and so on. The real job will be integrating transactional e-commerce, to make all those jobs where computer printed data is rekeyed, and providing every piece of information customers and suppliers need in a standardised format. Etail sites will continue to have different shopping baskets and different login systems. Vendors will do anything to stop end-users getting perfect market information. Mobile operators will continue to make mobile integration as difficult as possible, to justify ludicrous data charges. In other words, the market will fully mature, and companies will find it harder to add value to manufacturers' offerings.
Which do you think is the most influential vendor in the UK? Hewlett-Packard, obviously.
Which do you think is the most influential ISV in the UK? If you mean software publisher, it has to be Sagesoft.
Which vendor's technology do you think has changed the face of IT? The original Wi-Fi inventor - Broadcom is it? Otherwise, it's Big White and Blue, Microsoft.
How do you unwind or spend your spare time? Doing nothing. Preferably on the Costa del Sol or the Cote D'Azur.
Where is your favourite place to eat? At home watching TV.
What is your favourite drink? Pepsi Cola.
What is your favourite TV programme or film? Film, The Godfather. TV, nothing for years except The Fast Show.
Who is your favourite musician, band, artist or genre? Simon & Garfunkel, and all that kind of stuff.
What is your favourite book? Usually the one I'm reading, but anything by Tom Clancy or Freddie Forsyth.
What career would you have pursued if you hadn't worked in the channel? I'd be the verger at St Peter's, Neville Square (look it up, if anyone still reads real literature).
What has been your greatest business achievement? dabs.com.
What is your personal ambition? To sell dabs.com.
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