Career so far: I started my first IT business called Building Computers in my bedroom when I was still at school. This semi-hobby finally evolved into ‘Psychosis’, which I grew to around 25 staff and £3.5m. In 2007, through an equal merger with Open Business Systems, we created Fabric Technologies, which now has revenues of £11.5m and employs 80 people.
If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be and what would you do? Ueli Steck (holds the speed record for the fastest ascent of many alpine summits). In just a few days, I’d be able to go and climb all the mountains I’ve been meaning to get round to, but never seem to have enough time.
What would you have as your last meal? I’m half Swiss, so Fondue, of course.
What is the best corporate jolly you have ever been on/taken partners on? Spending the day as a racing driver at PalmerSport in Bedfordshire.
Do you see the cloud as a threat or an opportunity? More than just technology, the cloud represents a complete shift in the channel model where the relationships between end users, vendors, distributors and integrators are changing completely. While the cloud market transition and business models present a few short-term threats, overall the cloud represents a huge opportunity. It is driving innovation and creativity in the market and forcing us to rethink outdated business models. In many aspects of our business, the cloud is bringing us the ability to deliver a service more closely aligned with our customers’ business goals, and making us a more important and valuable partner.
Have any of your predictions come true this year? I predicted that the commoditisation of small business computing would accelerate – we’ve seen this in the huge growth of cloud services like BPOS. I also predicted that growth was still possible in the recession by focusing on areas with tangible business value. We have grown our revenues over 30 per cent this year and are on track for our most profitable year to date.
What do you see as the channel’s biggest challenge in 2011? Adjusting to a market where everyone can be a partner, client and competitor all at once, while continuing a clear, differentiated value proposition around the cloud and the growing end-user demand generation from vendors.
What is the best part of your day? Very early in the morning when the inbox is quiet. It provides a great opportunity to take a step back and look at things with perspective, ideally while I’m running around the local park.
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