Career so far: I had my first business at the age of 12, had a brief foray into law at university, followed by a swift return to IT. I headed up a big infrastructure project at Santander before starting Dot Net Solutions. I am a director of a few other businesses including trademarkdirect.com.
If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be and what would you do? Steve Ballmer. I would stop Microsoft wasting so much money trying to win a losing battle with Google on the search front and focus all Microsoft's energy on winning the device battle with Android.
Cloud - friend or foe? Best friend. Cloud has been instrumental in turning Dot Net Solutions into one of Microsoft's elite partners. We bet early on it and are now reaping the rewards. It enables rapid innovation, massive reduction in costs and fundamentally changes the perception of IT from the people that say "No" to the people that say "Yes".
Has 2011 been as bad as everyone said it would be? The start of the year was tough, but the past six months have been incredible. We have grown our revenues nearly 100 per cent since this time last year.
What would you have as your last meal? Chateaubriand. The finest steak on earth.
Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with? Richard Branson. The guy is a legend. There are very few people who have built $5bn businesses.
Have any of your predictions come true this year? Cloud's continued rise. Many put it down as marketing spin - it's clearly far from it. The key now is for the "true" cloud vendors (ie. Microsoft, Google and Amazon) to start to differentiate themselves from the "pretend" cloud providers (ie. traditional hosting businesses trying to do the "me too" thing).
What do you see as the channel's biggest challenge in 2012? Figuring out how to circumvent IT departments and sell directly to the business. One of the cloud's most powerful selling points is the fact companies don't need anywhere near as many people in IT. Turkeys, however, do not vote for Christmas and they will come up with every excuse under the sun, such as security, as to why the cloud is the wrong choice. Selling directly to the business is the way forward.
What is the best part of your day? Going home to my gorgeous fiancé.
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