Career so far: My career started at ICL in facilities management, following a degree in French at Manchester University. In 1994, I joined Integralis in various roles and then moved into sales, product management and business development roles at Allasso. In 2003 I was headhunted to create a new UK subsidiary of Risc Technology, which was subsequently acquired by the NOXS Group, which I ran as managing director until 2007 when the company was purchased by the Westcon Group. I was managing director of the combined security distributors for two years until 2009, when I decided to leave and create my own IT security services business - Clipsham IT.
If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be and what would you do? I would love to be Valmik Thapar - he is a world-renowned wildlife expert and conservationist, and has devoted his life to the protection of tigers in the wild. As a passionate lover of tigers, I cannot think of anything better than spending a week studying, watching and being involved with the protection of this wonderful but highly endangered species, and being able to play a small part in preventing its extinction in the wild.
What would you have as your last meal? Beef brisket with all the trimmings, made by my mother, followed by baked lemon pudding, also made by my mother!
Oh, and maybe I could squeeze in a ridiculously hot curry in between.
What is the best corporate jolly you have ever been on/taken partners on? A trip to New York with RSA. They pulled out all the stops, including a helicopter ride over Manhattan, a limo to cruise around Harlem, some very cool nightclubs, and a fantastic bunch of people that made it a blast.
Do you see the cloud as a threat or an opportunity? It's a bit of both, but ultimately I believe we will see a balance over the coming years of more cloud services adoption combined with traditional in-house deployments for companies that like to remain 100 per cent in control of their data and information security.
Have any of your predictions come true this year? Yes, I predicted I would be a lot happier and more fulfilled running my own company than I was working for somebody else.
I am enjoying the challenge of growing a new business and being responsible for continually motivating myself and my growing team to build something special, where we can all enjoy the fruits of our labour.
What do you see as the channel's biggest challenge in 2011? I see two key areas that are going to be challenging for the channel next year. The first is the considerable reliance in some quarters on public sector spending on IT, which will be seriously cut back and will affect those resellers for whom this vertical is a key area.
The second is that with more adoption of cloud services, businesses will have to be creative in adjusting their business models to embrace a deferred revenue income stream. This can be challenging with regards to sales commissions and cash flow.
What is the best part of your day? Anytime when I am actively engaged with my customers. I love the long-term relationships that can be achieved in our sector, and feel continually humbled and delighted with their loyalty over the years. The IT industry is a weird and wonderful arena to work in.
In my opinion it is very difficult to beat.
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