Career so far I started my first IT business building computers in my bedroom when I was still at school. This semi-hobby finally evolved into Psychosis, which I grew to about 25 staff and revenues of £3.5m. In 2007, through a merger with Open Business Systems, we created Fabric Technologies, which now has revenues of more than £13m and employs more than 100 people.
If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be and what would you do? Ueli Steck (he holds the speed record for the fastest ascent of many alpine summits). In just a few days, I'd be able to go and climb all the mountains I've been meaning to get round to, but never seem to have enough time to.
Cloud - friend or foe? If it's not your friend by now it should be. For Fabric, cloud means we can be more creative and deliver solutions that are tightly integrated with our customers' business goals. We are achieving higher value SLA-based managed services contracts and forming new partnerships with larger customers who have more complex technology infrastructure and need external expertise in getting to grips with, transitioning to and operating private cloud solutions. The net result to our business is an accelerating growth rate of recurring revenue and a faster move away from low-margin product fulfilment business than we thought.
Has 2011 been as bad as everyone said it would be? In many ways our wider economic situation is worse and we're not out of the woods yet. However, the market conditions have helped drive growth in opportunities for outsourcing and managed services. It has also created an interesting landscape for M&A in our sector which I'm sure will continue at pace into 2012.
If you're innovative, you don't have to follow the economy.
What would you have as your last meal? I'm half Swiss, so fondue of course!
Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with? A lift engineer.
Have any of your predictions come true this year? I predicted that we would see an overall decline in the percentage of our business that comes from commodity hardware revenues and successful resellers would make the shift from trying to be all things to all men, to focusing on where they add real value. Oh, and that of Microsoft and Cisco, one would ‘get' the move to XaaS and the other would just wish it could.
What do you see as the channel's biggest challenge in 2012? Maintaining differentiation in a rapidly consolidating market place and picking the right M&A strategy. Smaller players will need to find their niche to remain competitive and work hard to develop non-commoditised, repeatable propositions while maintaining a good level of profitability.
What is the best part of your day? Very early in the morning when the inbox is quiet. It provides a great opportunity to take a step back and
look at things with perspective, ideally while I'm running around the local park.
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