What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
I was a door-to-door insurance salesman, mainly on council estates. It was hard work knocking on doors 5-10pm every night, especially in winter or rain. I got into IT through a friend's referral, he was earning a lot of money and that attracted me - that and no more door knocking!
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Definitely automobiles, I'm a car freak. With a car you are in control.
What sport should be in the Olympics but isn't?
I think the Summer Olympics already has too many. The Winter Olympics, on the other hand, could include Snowball Fighting - that would be real entertainment - or Snowmobile Racing. My son would like to see a Snowman-Building category.
What could prompt you to give it all up and join the revolution?
A dictatorship. Democracy is the greatest power we have and if that were ever taken away I would have to fight to get it back.
What is the joke you heard most recently?
A reseller sent an large software order to a distributor. The distributor noticed the previous bill hadn't been paid, so his collections manager left a voicemail saying: ‘We can't ship your new order until you pay for the last one.' The next day he got a collect call: ‘Please cancel the order. We can't wait that long.'
"In my dreams ..."
... my wife and I are thirty-somethings again.
What was the best holiday you ever went on?
For my birthday, my wife planned the most fantastic three-week trip starting with a stay at the Wynn in Las Vegas, where we were joined by close friends to celebrate. Then, on to to Hawaii where she had booked me a Mustang Convertible, the de-facto standard hire car on the Islands. It was then onto San Francisco for the final week with a Hummer as the hire car. It was the best holiday... so far...
If you had a week to live, how would you fill it?
Apart from spending time with my wife and two sons, I would be out on the golf course trying to get my first hole in one.
... watch a football game to the end. A lifelong Liverpool fan, I turned the TV off when they were losing 3-0 to AC Milan in the Champions League final in 2005. They then scored three goals in six minutes taking Milan to extra time finally winning the penalty shootout. The match is often referred to as the Miracle of Istanbul.
Will we see businesses take green ICT more seriously this year?
It is already happening from personal experience and is sector specific, for now. We are currently talking to Government bodies that aim to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions 15 per cent by 2012.
Will virtualisation become as profitable for the channel as pundits predict?
It depends what you mean. Server virtualisation has become a commodity but desktop virtualisation is the future. We are already deep into sales cycles with our channel partners and they see the value. Our customers are increasingly demanding a centrally managed secure dynamic desktop that can follow them where ever they go and the virtual desktop can provide this. Used in conjunction with thin clients, they can also achieve substantial reductions in energy and carbon costs.
Print or online news?
Still print for me, it's habit. I was lucky enough to get hold of a new iPad from the US and will probably use it for online news so may change my mind.
What does the channel most need to learn in order to succeed and grow this year?
To be dynamic in response to end user requirements. IT is constantly changing. The solution of today will not be the solution of tomorrow.
Do vendors do enough to help their channel?
I think this is a two-way street although there are probably exceptions. Vendors tend to focus more on channel partners who reciprocate and focus on the vendor. There is also some responsibility on distribution partners and the value-add and assistance they can offer resellers.
Ronnie Khan is UK country manager for RES Software
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