Chairman, Wick Hill Group
What was the worst job you have ever had?
Cooking and bagging meat at a dog food factory as a school holiday job. You didn't need a map to find it, you could just follow your nose. I was very lucky: I was on the premium end cooking beef from cows that died in fields.
Which actor would you pick to play you in a movie of your life?
Frankie Boyle. As a fellow Glaswegian I'm sure that he could find plenty of material to provide an entertaining biopic.
What do you do as your party trick?
Remain standing after six hours or more.
What is your favourite chocolate bar?
What has been the highlight of your career to date?
Wick Hill: I've had the amazing opportunity to grow a business from scratch to the size that it is today, with a great team of friends and staff. With the opportunity to work over the years with a huge number of fun and interesting people, and the privilege to have had the opportunity to hopefully positively, contribute to some of their careers on the way.
Has 2014 been a good, bad or ugly year?
2014 has been a great year. Thanks to our channel partners and some excellent vendors we are continuing to experience high growth in the UK and DACH regions. So much so that some of our strategic growth plans have been brought forward.
How would you explain the IT channel to a stranger without boring them to death?
Someone asks us to herd cats, we ask a lot of people that we know to herd cats with us and then, all of us go out together as a team and herd a lot of cats. After the cats are delivered we all get asked to herd even more cats. Repeat above process.
Aside from the channel, my dream career would be... running a winning motor racing team at a profit. Or coaching an Olympic middle-distance champion.
What major issues will the channel face in 2015?
We are currently undergoing major changes in the IT world, the like of which I've only seen four times in the last 40 years. This wave of change is being driven by users. Their home experience of technology is fuelling some fundamental developments, which will have a dramatic impact on businesses, similar to that experienced when PCs were first introduced decades ago.
Mobility (and mobile IPV6), multiple devices, wireless (and the new 802.11ac multi Gb standard), cloud, identity and authentication, virtualisation, the data tsunami and so on mean that visibility and management of the business perimeter is increasingly disappearing. For some businesses, this is akin to the patients running the hospital. Understanding and securing against all these developments represents a huge challenge. The complexity throws up strong pressures for change, but it also brings major opportunities for the channel.
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