Career so far I have spent 25 years working within IT, starting out at the Mars Group where I first cut my teeth in IT with PC DOS and good old Lotus 123. Having an entrepreneurial passion, I moved from a large corporation to an independent reseller with great potential and joined Aindale to run the support operation. Working quickly up through the company, I became a director and partner before taking full ownership and establishing Aindale as a successful VAR, employing nearly 50 people over two divisions. In addition, in 2002 I became chairman of Network Group, the UK’s premier IT buying group, and I now enjoy leading both organisations.
If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be and what would you do? An astronaut on the next space mission – I have always wanted to see the ‘Blue Planet’ from space.
Cloud – friend or foe? It is a friend for those making money from it, so grasp and understand the opportunity. The channel is catching up with its adoption and it is finding its real position and client benefit in the market. Moving into 2012, the reseller community has to ensure it is part of its portfolio. For those who still feel it is a foe, just make sure you are in the gang, because at some point you will have to play in this or lose business, whether you like it or not. So however you feel, keep the cloud close to you.
Has 2011 been as bad as everyone said it would be? No. Certainly business spending has been reduced, but there is still business out there. Everyone just has to work harder to get it. The second half of 2011 is showing massive growth, which is a great sign and gives optimism that this continues into 2012.
What would you have as your last meal? A traditional lamb roast dinner – I can taste it now.
Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with? Professionally it has to be Richard Branson – a true British entrepreneur. Personally, it has to be Kylie Minogue (my wife will kill me).
Have any of your predictions come true this year? Yes, that 2011 will be a tough year in IT. But also by all my team working with added focus and determination making it what we want it to be.
What do you see as the channel’s biggest challenge in 2012? Creating demand while retaining margins in what is likely to be another tough year. In retail, it will be competitiveness against the ever stronger e-tail pricing – just look at the high street.
What is the best part of your day? Apparently I have two. Getting up and starting the day with a clear direction and delivering it. And of course, arriving home to a busy house and switching off the laptop.
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