What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
General assistant, age 14, at Leigh Delamere service station on the M4. Washing dishes, wiping tables, serving tea and listening to a chain-smoking Egyptian with a huge moustache tell me how one day it could all be mine. Fair dues, he was committed.
I got into IT by sending my CV to 400 companies across the UK. The first response was from a growing IT distributor called Frontline, and that was that.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Easy. Cars, because you get to choose who you share your space and time with. Major tip: never get on the Basingstoke to Waterloo train before 8am and accidentally catch the eye of the ageing Rastafarian who is either drunk (8am! Respect!) or insane.
Not if you value your personal space, anyway.
What sport should be in the Olympics but isn't?
No more! The Olympics should be running, throwing, jumping and, frankly, they've got most of those covered already. Basketball? Table tennis? Kayaking? Things have gone a little too far. I'm OK with volleyball though.
What could prompt you to give it all up and join the revolution?
What was your best business trip or junket ever?
This must be the question answered least often. There's no way I can honestly respond to this without getting fired or gaoled. I'll just say it involved an East African country, some grass skirts and headdresses, a number of customers, drinks, one enormous rogue elephant, and a penguin.
...ever bloody anything ever! Are there any Mr Jolly Lives Next Door fans reading this, I wonder? You'll need to Google it for sure if you're under 35.
Will we see businesses take green ICT more seriously this year?
Businesses do. The real driving factor is cost, rather than environmental friendliness. Energy bills continue to rise, and are being directly associated with IT departments.
Print or online news?
Print, absolutely. Who takes a laptop to the gents'?
What does the channel most need to learn?
The answer to this question should never vary: to adapt. The greatest thing about the industry that we work in is the pace of change, providing our customers with new opportunities, and challenges. Our channel partners are experts at using our technology to build the right solutions for our customers at the right time, however fast the industry changes.
Do vendors do enough to help their channel?
No, absolutely not. My experience is that many, many vendors believe that they sell to the customer, and in spite of professing to be channel-friendly they treat their channel partners as a delivery arm that should be grateful, and prepared to be dictated to.
Steve Johnson is channel sales director at Extreme Networks
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