What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was in 1985, working as a chef in a Cypriot restaurant in my home town of Bray, Co Wicklow where I cooked for many stars including U2, Tina Turner, and Elvis Costello to name a few. Before I joined Dell I was working for a publishing company managing its advertising sales business. I applied for a sales job at Dell in 1995 as they had an office in Bray and I managed to convince them that I was a great fit for the role.
What is the most important trend to follow in 2015?
That’s a great question as there are so many exciting new trends at the moment. For me, the IoT is a catalyst for everything driving data growth, communication, information and security.
In the near future with IPV6 everything on the planet could have an IP address.
Which is more important: a good leader, or the team as a whole?
I think both are important. A good team needs a good leader and a good leader needs a good team. The magic happens when the two come together.
What has been your toughest moment at work so far, and how did you resolve the situation?
Setting up the channel in 2008 for Dell was tough. Not only did we have to change the company but we had to convince the partners we were serious as well.
It was an interesting time for the first year or two. We succeeded through patience, trust and relationships. However, with all great challenges comes great opportunity and the channel is a strong growth area for Dell today.
Do you or have you read ChannelWeb on your mobile or other handheld device?
Yes, I get updates all the time on my phone. It keeps my finger on the channel pulse so I know what’s happening.
Will there always be value in printed books and magazines?
Yes, there will always be a market for sitting back and flicking through a magazine or reading a paper book with a coffee or glass of wine.
What would you say are your three greatest accomplishments in life (so far)?
Convincing my wife to marry me, having kids, and completing my first marathon.
What is the best way to get UK plc growing again?
There are a number of ways, but one area that’s important is entrepreneurship. We need to encourage people to set up their own companies and create jobs by giving them access to the right support and finance. This can be done from a young age – instead of asking “who do you want to work for?” children should be asked “which company do you want to own?”
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
Trust, relationship and belief. It’s always a good recipe for success.
What is more important: loyalty or morality?
For me it’s morality; the rest follows from that. Morality is the foundation for life; the ability to know right from wrong and good and bad behaviour.
What are the traits of a perfect boss?
There are many traits and it’s hard to narrow it down. They need to be passionate, hardworking, a good communicator and a leader. These are the traits I look for in my team, and if you tick these four boxes you are on the right path.
Are IT skills shortages best filled by on-the-job training or formal education (such as at university)?
I think it’s a combination of on-the-job training and education. We need to attract more people into our business at an early age so they understand it’s not all about nuts and bolts. IT is full of interesting career opportunities. At Dell for example, we encourage a diverse culture, and we engage with children at school level to show them how diverse and interesting IT is as a career path.
Colm Greene is channel sales director at Dell
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