Career so far I started ANS in my back bedroom aged 22. It is now turning over £12m per annum and is one of four companies that I serve as chairman. I have won a number of awards including IoD North West Director of the Year, National Business Awards North West Entrepreneur of the Year and EN Technology Entrepreneur of the Year.
Do you care about green IT? Hugely. Our entire portfolio of solutions are designed to help companies significantly reduce their carbon footprint, and to save money! Technologies such as virtualisation, video conferencing and unified communications all save companies time and money while helping them to incorporate environmental CSR into their entire IT infrastructure rather than having it sit as a separate effort.
If you could be in a rock/pop band, which one would it be and who would you be? I know this will sound sad but I love Take That. I think their musical talent is often ignored because of the boy band image. Maybe it isn’t too late, I could do a job for them if they asked.
What is the best corporate jolly you have ever been on/taken partners on? Where to begin? ANS has a great culture which saw us voted number 24 in the Sunday Times Top 100 small companies to work for last year. We work hard and we play hard and have had some great staff trips. On a corporate level, visiting a Cisco conference in San Francisco couldn’t exactly be described as a jolly as there was a lot of work done there but it was so impressive to see the technologies that they are working on. They have been an excellent partner for ANS and I can see this continuing for a long time.
Has 2009 been as bad as everyone said it would be? Not for us, we’re still growing. The current economic climate has been difficult but for companies such as ourselves with a good base of private and public clients, a strong ‘Spend to Save’ portfolio and a prudent approach to debt and bottom line it has been a time of opportunity. Business has become harder to close but it is still out there as we can prove that our customers will save money by investing in smarter IT solutions. We have invested in our staff infrastructure and are looking at several acquisition opportunities.
Have any of your predictions come true this year? Yes. I predicted that we would grow and we have done. Some people see the economic conditions as a problem; we’ve seen them as a challenge and have risen to it.
What do you see as the channel’s biggest challenge in 2010? The biggest challenge is convincing the executives and decision of the value of IT. Our solutions can save companies money but it can sometimes be difficult to get past the IT managers, who are already usually bought in to IT’s benefits, to demonstrate to the top-level executives exactly how we can help them to streamline their IT and save them time and money.
What is the best part of your day? Waking up healthy with a wonderful wife, two lovely children and going to a job that I love doing. I’ve been very fortunate.
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