What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
I was hired by BAE Systems (formerly British Aerospace) as a sponsored graduate engineer. I got into IT by becoming the head of computer-aided engineering and getting involved in the outsourcing and relationship management of key engineering IT functions to CSC. At the time, that was the largest outsourcing contract in the world.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
That’s an easy one: planes, without a doubt. There is a but, though: only if we could revert back to the 1960s style of service with 21st-century technology. Why? Well, actually, my wife forced me to watch the TV show Pan Am recently and, sadly, I became hooked on it. There’s just something about the romance of flying in that era.
What is the best holiday you have ever had?
Around the islands of Polynesia. As soon as I stepped off the plane, I was blown away by the amazing light and colour. It hits you straight away.
Plus I met Tony Cascarino, a professional footballer who played for the Republic of Ireland, at the airport. Not only did we get on really well, but so did our wives -- it helped that they are both French. We ended up hanging out and going for a meal together. It was a fantastic holiday in every way.
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
Beyond the basics of being successful, hard working, established, and the like, it’s about the channel company’s desire to work with you. You can have the most high-profile partnership in the world, but it will fall flat if either side isn’t 100 per cent committed to making it work.
What is the one thing you miss from being a kid that you no longer do or can do?
I honestly can’t think of a single thing. That might be because, if anything, it’s the reverse!
I enjoy so many things as an adult I couldn’t do as a child that I would never want to go back. Imagine not being able to round off the day with a glass of superb red wine.
And as my wife will tell you, I’m just a big kid at heart anyway. Really nothing has changed except my income and freedom -- both of which, I’m glad to say, have increased.
Where would you like life to take you next?
I was lucky enough to work at Autonomy for nine years. I had a fantastic time there and learned so much, particularly from entrepreneur and Autonomy founder Mike Lynch. While I was working there we went through two IPOs, so if you were to ask me about the future I would say I’d love Transversal to experience that level of success. We absolutely have the capability so it’s about making it happen sensibly and successfully.
What is the most important thing in business?
You won’t get anywhere without taking a risk. I believe truly successful businesses require a complex mix of vision and grounding, sensibility and risk. It might result in a few extra grey hairs, though.
Marc Quantrill is partner sales director at Transversal
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