What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was as a kitchen porter at a major bank in the City of London where I worked 10-hour days. My career after that spanned various industries, including stints in PR and politics. I moved into technology in 2007 when an opportunity presented itself to head the team at Connect.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Planes. Or rather the departure lounge awaiting take-off to a distant and dreamy location. Plus Virgin's flight attendants are slightly more glamorous than staff on the average commuter train.
What is your favourite joke or the one you heard most recently?
The end user who asked if one of our engineers could fix his toaster when he had finished rebooting his PC.
"In my dreams ..."
... I hole the putt to win the Ryder Cup on the 18th green. Against Tiger Woods, who misses from two feet.
What was the best holiday you ever went on?
A 1980s visit to the Soviet Union to smuggle letters, food and prescription drugs to the dissidents who ended up running the new Russia a decade later. The worst hotel and food I have ever experienced, but worth the trip.
If you had a week to live, how would you fill it?
Three days in the Galapagos Islands. Three days with Rachel Weisz. One day planning inappropriate music for the funeral.
Will we see businesses take green ICT more seriously this year?
It is likely that green IT will remain a secondary concern for most organisations, unless of course the cost reductions from energy savings could justify such decisions. Witness the disappearance of David Cameron's husky-driving trips since the economy hit hard times.
Print or online news?
Online for quick news, print for anything longer than a couple of paragraphs. Plus Nicholas Carr's book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains says too much Google is warping our brains.
Do you use social media?
I use Facebook for personal and LinkedIn for business, although I have just culled my ‘friends' on Facebook to fewer than 100. I wanted to restrict it to people I have actually met. And like.
Will the economic recovery continue?
More strongly than is currently being predicted. It is likely the recovery will also be more diffuse, with rapid growth in certain sectors and regions. The private sector will create more jobs than will end up being lost in the public sector.
What does the channel most need to learn this year?
This year, resellers need to learn to love the cloud and, more importantly, to find ways of making a good margin out of it. Otherwise they risk seeing their clients slowly drift away to others that can provide hosted solutions.
Do vendors do enough to help their channel?
Too many vendors are so focused on generating short-term sales. This means they spend insufficient time helping resellers to find better ways to market themselves and win business over a longer period.
Mark MacGregor is chief executive at Connect
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