What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was filling freezers with food at Iceland. I didn't really like the idea of getting frostbite from a supermarket job, so took a degree in computing and got into IT instead. It certainly beats handling frozen chips!
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Automobiles, as I am always in control, which at this stage seems pretty much impossible in a train unless you own the rail company. Even when flying a plane myself, my control is questionable, if I'm totally honest!
What sport should be in the Olympics?
Angry Birds! It's fun, all the media would follow it and we'd have a lot more athletes to choose from.
What is your favourite joke or the one you heard most recently?
A kettle walks into a pub and asks for a pint of lager. The barman says ‘I'm not serving you, you're steaming.' I didn't say it was the funniest.
"In my dreams ..."
...I will no longer have to work. Not very realistic, I admit.
What was your best business trip ever?
Visiting Cairo. I got to see the pyramids on from the back of a camel, while dressed in a business suit. It certainly brought a bit of glamour to the occasion.
What was the best holiday you ever went on?
The Maldives. It's one of the few places left in the world where you can still really get away from it all and relax. Hopefully that won't change any time soon.
If you had a week to live, how would you fill it?
I'd spend it with my wife and kids, making sure the kids get to do everything they ask!
What would your superpower be?
Time travel, without a doubt. Normal travel is just such a waste of time, even with distractions.
If someone shrunk you to the size of a pencil and put you in a blender, how would you get out?
Easy, I'd use a precisely scaled rope ladder which would be conveniently located!
Print or online news?
Now, it's online. Print is, you could say, so last year, and not as immediate. Print still works best for the more in-depth stories, though.
Do you use social media?
Yes, both business and personal! Obviously I make sure I keep the business and personal uses separate. There are too many examples of that going awry.
Will the economic recovery continue?
I believe recovery will continue, as long as the media don't start hyping up any story as a plunge into recession. Of course, the way things are it might all change five minutes after I've written this.
What does the channel most need to learn to succeed and grow this year?
From our point of view, virtualisation is here to stay. And it's not enough to just sell technology anymore. You also need to offer ways to make it really take off. Also, customers themselves are only going to get more clued up so the channel needs to make sure it's engaging them and demonstrating clear benefits.
Your closest near-death experience?
Flying a plane on my own for the first time - although as you can see, I was fine!
Is IT well taught in schools?
It probably isn't taught as well as it could be. They don't have up-to-date resources, especially considering how fast IT moves today. After all, it was only introduced as a subject relatively recently, and so much has changed since then.
Ian Wells is director for northern EMEA at Veeam Software
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