What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
As an electronics apprentice with the Ministry of Defence; one of the tasks I had during this apprenticeship was to write a programme to enable a robot to play noughts and crosses with a human opponent. After that, I was given other IT-type projects.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Definitely cars, as you can usually control what is happening. Cars have been my passion and weakness since I was small. Although I wouldn’t say no to a private jet if I were given one.
Which fictional TV character is borrowing ideas from your life?
Baldrick from Blackadder. He always has a cunning plan and, as a salesman, I like to think I have one too.
In my dreams…
…our resellers would wine and dine me all the time. Or should that work the other way round?
What was the best business trip or junket you have ever been on?
Years ago I was on a business trip to Eilat in Israel, and the entire team thought it was a company conference for European employees. However, it turned out to be a complete junket for three days and certainly Ei-lat of fun!
Oranges or bananas?
Bananas. I do a lot of mountain biking and they certainly help with the energy levels on longer trips, while being easy to carry and less messy on the fingers. Oranges are much better to juggle with, though.
…thought I would end up in sales. However, after more than 12 years, it seems to have worked out quite well.
Would you rather draw up the plans, or carry them out?
A bit of both, really. I enjoy being creative and entrepreneurial, but I also like to see things through to the end and ensure the results I want are achieved. It is also far more interesting that way.
Is it wrong to tell little white lies?
It’s certainly OK to use them to protect people’s feelings. As in: “That hat really suits you!”
Do you use social media?
I use it for work as a way of staying in touch and up to date with colleagues and partners. I find that some people might be unresponsive to emails but not to tweets.
What does the channel most need to learn to succeed this year?
To be able to communicate value to customers. In these tougher times, value is the commodity end users want the most.
Is IT well taught in schools?
Probably as well as it can be. We all know that IT is diverse and vast as a subject as well as being very fast moving, so teaching it in depth would be impossible.
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
Focus, openness, honesty and reliability. Having these attributes will help them develop trust with customers and become valued partners with vendors.
What is one thing you miss from being a kid that you no longer do or can do?
Climbing trees. As a child it was easy, now the fear of going splat keeps any such ideas at bay.
Do you choose soaps and body washes by their colour or their scent?
Only in that I avoid coconut. I can’t stand the real thing or anything that smells like it.
What are the traits of a perfect boss?
Enthusiasm, relevant experience and the ability to listen as well as promote good ideas. It’s also important to communicate up and down through the organisation.
Where did you get that hat?
A reseller gave it me!
Dave Thompson is UK channel sales manager at Dot Hill
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