Chief executive, Technology Associates; Treasurer, IAMCP International Board
Career so far
Wow! How long have you got? I started my career way back in the last 1970s when I was a sponsored engineering student at Land Rover and BL Technology. After I graduated I moved to Rover Group to take up a role in Young People Training. After three years I moved to Jaguar Cars where I was a training manager, but being the only person in the department with an engineering degree, I got the job of delivering CAD Training (CADDS4X) to the engineering and product development staff. I left Jaguar to pursue other options but within three weeks they asked me to go back as a contractor which was a great move for me because the rates for good CAD trainers were very high, even in the early 1980s.
I worked as a contractor for ECS in Lichfield and Amazon Computers in Milton Keynes before setting up Technology Associates in 1990. As well as running Technology Associates, I am heavily involved in the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP). I have been UK Chapter president for the last five years, and a member of the EMEA board for four years. Last year, after serving two years as treasurer, I was worldwide President for IAMCP International (one year term by rotation), and this year I am treasurer again. This year I started a new business focussed on consulting for Microsoft Partners, helping them to grow and build their own businesses, especially in relation to cloud strategy.
Who was your top teenage pin-up?
What is your favourite snack?
A really good mature cheese and biscuits - even better with a glass of red wine.
What has been your career high point to date?
I think there have been many over the years including some of the awards that both I and my company have received, but a couple that stand out for me are when Technology Associates won a Worldwide Partner Award for PPM a few years ago, and also my year as Worldwide President for IAMCP in 2012. But also every satisfied customer is a high point for me. Delivering a quality service and ensuring customers reap the benefits of our advice and the technology available to them is always a high point.
Has 2013 been good, bad or ugly?
So far 2013 has been great. Last year we had to restructure the company and that was tough. It came about because we had several customers go to the wall due to economic circumstances and unable to pay their invoices. But that turns out to have been a good move for us. We were able to consolidate and become more efficient.
What do you say when asked at a party what you do for a living?
I keep it simple - I just say I'm an IT consultant specialising in project management. Anything more than that and you can see their eyes glaze over.
If I wasn't working in the channel I would probably be...
Working in the automotive industry. Most likely I'd be working in Jaguar Cars or similar although I always had a hankering to be an automotive journalist - just like Jeremy Clarkson.
What will be the channel's biggest challenge in 2014?
I think 2014 will see a consolidation of cloud and companies finally realising that cloud needs to be a core focus of their IT strategy for the next few years. I also think that video will become more important. I think we'll see communications infrastructure needing to catch up with the demand, and this will put pressure on government and communications providers.
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