What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
I was a photocopier salesman; what a great job that was! I got into IT thanks to a friend who thought I would be good at it. We’re no longer friends!
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Definitely cars. I’m a petrol head so nothing compares.
Should Prince William shave his head?
No, if anything he increasingly needs to speak to Wayne Rooney to get the phone number of whoever sorted his head out.
What’s the best business trip or junket you have ever been on?
A trip to Singapore a few years ago. We travelled to meet a customer at a hotel there, but the customer cancelled at the last minute. As the hotel was pre-booked and we were there anyway, it would have been not only rude but very costly had we not taken advantage of all the facilities.
If you had to choose just one leisure activity, would you choose an art or a sport?
A sport, probably football, as it offers me a way to relax at the weekends. I hate the summer so it’s great for me that football is played in the colder months.
Oranges or bananas?
Definitely bananas. They are a good source of energy and my Labrador, Pedro, is a big fan of them as well.
What never fails to make you laugh?
The classic TV show Minder. George Cole, as Arthur Daley, is hilarious. I also like the way the show portrayed London in the 1980s.
Would you rather draw up the plans, or carry them out?
I prefer drawing up the plans; I’m a vision and strategy man.
What would you like your epitaph to be?
“The boy done good.” Short, simple, and easy to read if someone felt the need.
Can politicians ever be trusted on IT?
No, they can’t. Most of them are computer-illiterate, so they can hardly be trusted to make decisions that affect an entire industry.
What is the best way to get UK plc growing again?
The amount of bureaucracy around trading in the UK needs to be reduced, as well as the VAT. We can’t have higher taxes and expect higher growth as well – the two don’t mix. I think I would make a great politician!
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
The perfect partners are market makers, not market takers.
What are you reading?
Boomerang by Michael Lewis, a very interesting book on the recent financial crisis. Lewis’ interviews are insightful and chilling, and impart views on the global financial services industry that are hard to take in but impossible to put down.
What are the traits of a perfect boss?
Integrity, passion and strong leadership. I would work for anyone with these qualities.
“Golf is a good walk wasted.” Discuss.
I enjoy a round of golf, especially when I’m playing well. It’s a really nice walk with a purpose, and you get gorgeous views if you pick the right venues. It’s not so good if you’re not playing well though. In the past, I’ve had to walk miles.
How do you try to cheer yourself up when you’re feeling down?
A nice cup of tea and a biscuit (or cake if there are no biscuits to hand). Works every time.
Karl Barton is EMEA vice president of sales at Exinda
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