What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
I was a mechanic for eight years, until I was 26. Cars have always been a passion of mine. I moved to the South East from Somerset 10 years ago and was exposed to a lot more industries than I was used to.
I was always ambitious and had a few contacts working for an IT security company who pointed me in the right direction. At that time, the industry was quite willing to take on people with no qualifications or experience - so long as you displayed some talent - so I just started at the bottom and worked my way up.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Planes and automobiles. I love to fly and petrol will always run through my veins.
What is the best business trip or junket you have ever experienced?
A few years ago the company I owned went on a trip to San Francisco to sign its first major deal. It was a really exciting trip because it was such an important one. On top of that, we sealed the deal and celebrated our success by partying for days.
...fail to complete a sentence.
Print or online news?
Print, because fish and chips make my iPad greasy.
Do you use social media?
I do. For personal purposes it is a great way of keeping in touch with people all over the world. In business, social media makes it much easier to maintain your level of contacts and keep in touch with multiple people at the same time. You can also share experiences and learn from other people’s mistakes and successes in a public domain, which is a relatively new phenomenon.
Industry trends are also well highlighted on social media platforms - and of course it is essential for monitoring breaking news.
What would be your superpower?
I would like to be able to fly or read minds. It sounds like a predictable response, but being able to fly by myself would save me an enormous amount of time checking in.
Your closest near-death experience?
The taxis in Moscow are quite an experience. A cab I hired during a recent visit was something else! It was one of the most hair-raising moments of my life, and I have had a few.
Do you think that the economic recovery will continue?
Eventually, but at a very slow pace. There are still a lot of things to fix and a big adjustment needs to be made in the western world. I think it will be at least six years before we are back to where we used to be.
What does the channel most need to learn in order to succeed and grow this year?
The channel needs to understand its customers’ changing security requirements. As businesses adopt new technologies to drive efficiency, productivity and growth, new security vulnerabilities are exposed. Resellers need to be ready to educate their customers about these threats and help address them by introducing appropriate security solutions.
Is IT well taught in schools?
I don’t think it is as good as it should be. IT is now a life skill, as far as I am concerned. The UK has provided some of the best engineers, scientists and inventors in the world, but the subject of IT has been woefully undervalued in recent years. When you think of all the industries that rely on IT these days, it’s essential the basics are well taught from a young age.
Andrew Lintell is corporate sales director at Kaspersky Lab
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