Graham Jones has spoken of his desire to scale Exclusive Networks' UK business after taking up the role of joint country manager at the VAD this month.
Having spent two years in exile from the channel, former Integralis UK boss Jones agreed to take the job at Exclusive for one final "end-of-career push" before he hangs up his spikes.
He will jointly manage the UK operation alongside VADition co-founder Ian Morris.
Jones (pictured) revealed he has also put some of his own money into the Paris-based distributor, which is aiming to more than triple its turnover to €1bn (£658m) by 2017. The UK business turned over €94m last year.
Jones conceded that the departure of VADition's other founder, Neil Ledger, to a European role would be a big loss to the UK operation but claimed that Exclusive is primed for continued growth.
"Neil basically told me to get in there and get it in shape to grow," he told CRN.
"The challenge is, can we double [the UK business] to be in line with the group's goal while continuing to add value? I think there is a lot more growth we can do by knocking on more doors and getting the basics right."
Jones added: "Normally, when a business is run by strong characters, it will collapse if you take them out. One of my biggest worries was that Neil was such a force – but the happiness I have when I go around the organisation is that there are some very good people here.
"It's not like at Integralis. When I picked it up it had lost £18m on a turnover of £60m. The phrase is 'evolution not revolution'. I am not replacing Neil but there is a job there to review the structure so we can grow."
While Morris will continue to look after the back end, Jones' role is to manage vendor and partner relations and sales and marketing.
"[The northern office] is purring like a cat. We still have 20 to 25 people up there and it is a big chunk of our business, so there are no plans to close it," he said.
Jones said it is too early to discuss specific plans but hinted that Exclusive is looking at how best to enter the cloud market.
EMEA marketing director Barrie Desmond added: "We have always said we would rather sell the shovels than dig for gold. We are not going to dig for gold but now we are beginning to see that [cloud] makes sense, which means we can productise and white-label it. We are not going to go off and buy a £20m datacentre but we will get into it gradually. We have done the thinking and now we will begin to move and we will certainly be developing some cloud services."
Having left Integralis shortly after its takeover by Japanese telco NTT, Jones served a two-and-a-half-year stint at surveillance solutions vendor Quadnetics before working as a consultant. He had a quick peek at distressed IT security VAR Chameleon last year as he weighed up a return to the channel, before striking up a dialogue with Ledger.
"I think if it had been a broadline distributor it would not have been much of a challenge, as that is a staid model. I was genuinely surprised at the level of value add [Exclusive offers]," he said.
"I wanted to take a stake in it as this is more of an end-of-career big push, rather than just a job. I have put in some of my own money."
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