What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was in South Africa. I had my own stationery business selling book covers and other supplies to schools in the area. My first UK job was as a maths and computer science teacher at a secondary school.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
All of the above. I love travelling by any means. However, it does depend on the length of time required. So I would rather fly to Monaco than drive -- unless it’s in a sports car.
What is your favourite joke or the one you heard most recently?
Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right, and the other is the husband.
Should Prince William shave his head?
Yes. It would make the papers and give the news reporters something to shout about -- but only if it happens while he’s out at a party with Harry, in the style of the film The Hangover. I’m not sure if Kate would agree, though.
In my dreams…
…I am a successful Formula One driver.
Oranges or bananas?
Oranges. They remind me of hot summer days at the pool in South Africa.
What was the best holiday you have ever had?
An around-the-world trip to South Africa, New Zealand, Fiji, California and Las Vegas -- enough said.
What do you say to those who claim the world will end on 21 December 2012, as per the Mayan calendar?
I thought it was 20 December 2012. Oh, well: life is what you make of it, so get busy living!
If someone shrank you to the size of a pencil and put you in a blender, how would you get out?
This is a question that Google uses in its interviews. I don’t think it’s about getting out, it’s about stopping someone turning the blender on. So that would mean doing a lot of shouting.
Print or online news?
Online. I’m always on the go.
Will the economic recovery continue?
I think so. Technology and telecoms are still going strong due to the number of innovative ideas from the channel. I think other sectors could take a leaf out of the channel’s book.
Would you rather draw up the plans, or carry them out?
Both. It’s nice to know what you are doing, if you helped set the ball rolling in the first place.
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
Understanding what drives them and their suppliers. Being open and clear about their objectives and what business they intend to deliver. And of course having a good sense of humour is important too.
What is the most important thing in business?
I think there are quite a few things that are important, but one in particular is working with people you feel you can trust and with whom it makes business sense.
What has been your toughest moment at work so far, and how did you resolve the situation?
In my previous job, we were working with one of the largest football stadiums in the UK and the company wanted to end our contract. I worked tirelessly to win back the business and they ended up signing for another five years. I was really happy, as well as relieved.
Dan Cunliffe is head of partners and strategy at O2 Wholesale
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