Career so far I joined the NHS after leaving university before travelling to Hong Kong. I managed an Italian restaurant for nine months after which I joined environmental engineering consultancy Montgomery Watson working as bid manager on projects across SE Asia. After three years there my wife and I spent a couple of years travelling home overland through the Pacific and Asia (does that count as a career move?). On our return to the UK I worked for SAS Institute for a short time before rejoining Montgomery Watson working in Europe and the Middle East. After a brief spell with Cable & Wireless and three enjoyable years with systems integrator Satelcom, I began life with Imerja as one of the co-founders - my longest job to date and the most satisfying by far (other than the travelling, perhaps).
If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be and what would you do? I would love to live a few days as each of my sons and enjoy being a kid again, seeing the world through their eyes - you never know, it may even make me a better parent.
Cloud - friend or foe? I think it depends on how people choose to interact and exploit the potential that cloud computing offers. The economic and environmental arguments are sound, and the service delivery and performance benefits are clear to see where services are successfully delivered, but simply ‘throwing' things into the cloud without adequate due diligence and proper understanding of the implication can be counter productive. There needs to be careful consideration of security, robust processes to support management and delivery of services, understanding of how services will be accessed - and by who - and a roll back position when migrating to a cloud environment. Undoubtedly, growth in cloud-based services combined with the explosion in demand for untethered mobility and use of personal devices could see a ‘perfect storm', changing how we (have to) interact with IT - perhaps another chapter in IT evolution?
Has 2011 been as bad as everyone said it would be? Yes and no - it depends who you are referring to. The changing political and economic landscapes have affected everyone to some extent, but with change comes opportunity - the glass is always half full, and certainly never empty. I think some elements of the media are intent on talking us into recession, and at times there is only doom and gloom to read about - what's wrong with a bit of positive news now and again to help lift the mood?
What would you have as your last meal? To start with, scallops cooked with bacon, followed by steak with peppercorn sauce and crispy roast potatoes, tiramisu for dessert, a selection of cheese with a bottle of port, and finished off with smooth coffee and a never-ending box of chocolates. That lot would probably finish me off anyway.
Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with? I guess it depends how long for and the size of the lift, but to cover all bases: for entertainment and to maintain high spirits I would choose Peter Kaye; for musical interludes Kylie (of course); for interesting conversation Gene Kranz; in case survival skills required Bear Grylls; and Nikita from Division to hatch an escape plan if we need it - any remaining space would be filled up by members of The Saturdays.
Have any of your predictions come true this year? I predicted Dave Ellis would win his bout at the CRN Fight Night. And I have not won the Lottery (hopefully one day I'll get this one very wrong).
What do you see as the channel's biggest challenge in 2012? A continued squeeze on margins is inevitable for a while yet. However, I see the outlook as positive and believe those that have remained loyal and supportive in their business relationships during challenging times are well placed to jointly reap the benefits as opportunities arise and the mood lifts.
What is the best part of your day? Getting home from work in time for dinner and spending the evening with my young family.
Bidding process for successor to Network Services framework, which features the likes of Softcat and CDW, begins
Acquisition of education company The Consortium and strong international sales contributed to growth
Technology Management MD James Crowter recalls when a customer's Dynamics 365 system went down following an unpaid bill
Reseller and vendor claim they can cut a customer's cloud spend by between 20 and 30 per cent