What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
I was a cashier at the Cromwell Road branch of NatWest bank.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
A private Lear Jet. Since I don’t own one, I make do with “standing room only”.
What was the best business trip or junket that you have ever experienced?
Visiting Tokyo. It’s one of the most amazing cities on the planet.
Oranges or bananas?
Bananas. It’s a jungle out there and I’m the king of the swingers, baby!
What would be your superpower?
Prescience. I’ve seen the future and it’s bright red everywhere.
If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you make your escape?
That’s easy. I would get my mini Lear Jet to fly by and drop me a rescue pack that would contain everything I needed to get out.
Do you use social media?
I do, for personal reasons and for business. It keeps me connected professionally and “down with the kids” at home.
Does your online persona accurately reflect your personality or who you are?
Very much so - with me, what you see is what you get.
What does the channel most need to learn to succeed and grow this year?
The market is changing and so is the traditional landscape of vendors. Partners must have a vendor they can trust, rely on, grow with and build a sustainable business with - not one that is confused about what it’s keeping or selling.
What do you believe to be the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
That they are honest, collaborative, focused on the relationship, open to change, and they will consider another point of view.
These are the partners who think as we do and we want to talk to them.
What are the traits of a perfect boss?
One who hires great people, then gets out of the way. None of us can do this alone and we need smart people to do smart things without being hindered.
Are IT skills shortages best filled by on-the-job training or by formal education such as university?
The truth is that we need both approaches. Formal education works perfectly for some, while others respond better in situ, through their innate spirit.
In the professions, we really need to have the assurance of concrete knowledge and of principles being applied. Outside the professions, I need entrepreneurial, free-thinking, self motivated individuals. We are fortunate enough to have both.
How do you try to cheer yourself up when you’re feeling down?
I sit down, kick back and play my guitar - it works every time.
What is the most important thing in business?
Integrity. It costs nothing to build, but costs everything once it’s lost.
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