What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
Helping the local milkman make deliveries at 3am. The most important thing I learned was that I don’t like early starts. I got into IT after seeing a vacancy at a jobs fair, walking up to a manager, and telling him it would be the biggest mistake of his life if he didn’t give me the job. Turned out I was right.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Planes and trains are fine; it’s generally the people on them I don’t like. So, by default, automobiles win.
What sport should be in the Olympics but isn’t?
Snooker. We could actually win a medal.
What is your favourite joke, or the one you heard most recently?
My favourite joke is far too rude, so here’s the latest one that made me chuckle. “Crime in multi-storey car parks. It’s wrong on so many levels.”
“In my dreams…”
...I have a herd of minions who do my evil bidding.
What was your best ever business trip or junket?
Las Vegas. Aerosmith performed an exclusive show and Bill Clinton gave a presentation. Plus, I fired some machine guns in the desert.
What would be your superpower?
Teleportation would be good. It would save me from my never-ending tour of the UK by car.
If someone shrank you to the size of a pencil and put you in a blender, how would you get out?
I would fashion a rope of sorts from my clothes, and use my belt as a kind of grappling hook, which I would use to hoist my tiny self out of the blender - being mindful of the blades, of course.
Print or online news?
No contest. Online, for instant, collaborative and worldwide news.
Will the economic recovery continue?
I believe it will, but a double-dip recession is still looming and we may well see this before real economic recovery can happen.
What does the channel most need to learn to succeed and grow this year?
I have the answer to this question but unfortunately I can’t tell you as the rest of the channel would learn why we still continue to grow at such a phenomenal rate.
What was your closest near-death experience?
I once questioned my wife’s choice in interior design. Never again.
Is IT well taught in schools?
I think it is getting much better. With more collaboration, use of video and better devices to enable teaching, I believe that most schools do as well as they can with what they have. The boundaries of classroom-based teaching are changing, though, and it will be interesting to see how schools adapt to facilitate this.
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
The perfect channel partner will listen to their customers to react to their needs in order to execute on joint goals and strategies over an agreed period of time.
What are the traits of a perfect boss?
A good listener who takes responsibility, who appreciates his or her team, takes action when needed, is highly aware, and is someone who can motivate others. I think if you work with such individuals, it can only benefit your own personal development.
What is the most important thing in business?
I genuinely think the most important thing is to set yourself targets as it is hard to achieve anything either professionally or personally without having something to aim for. Net margin comes a very close second.
If you had your time again, what would have been your next choice of career?
Chief executive of a Fortune 500 global company. I would want to do it mainly for the fame - but I am convinced the salary would be competitive too.
Billy Haining is head of the Cisco business unit at Intrinsic Technology
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