UK&I country manager, NetApp UK
What is your greatest career move to date?
From a boutique Apple reseller - Tram - to a larger, dominant reseller - Morse. Morse was an innovative and front-running company of its time and working for such a large systems integrator gave me the opportunity to work with larger customers, delivering innovative, leading technologies. This opportunity and experience stood me in good stead for my next moves to Fujitsu and HP.
What is top of your bucket list?
To walk the Pennine Way with my son.
What has changed most since you started working in the channel?
The transition of the IT channel from a fulfilment-based business to a service-based business. Since I started working in the IT channel, there has been huge growth in enterprise-class vendors, meaning end users have a wide range of vendors to choose from. This has been the nudge the industry needed for leading vendors and resellers to offer their customers new services, programs and initiatives.
How do you think Brexit is going to affect the channel?
Customers are putting big decisions on hold or looking at short-term fixes rather than long-term strategic infrastructure. Brexit has accelerated the transition to cloud where customers previously may have been investing in longer capital-based projects, but are now open to and looking to trial the cloud.
What is your least favourite task during the working day?
I don't really have a single task that is least favourite. However, admin and dealing with the small things is not my greatest strength.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
A gorilla. They are powerful but gentle, humble and respectful.
If you won the big one on EuroMillions, what would you do?
Set up my family, buy a property in France and spend my days looking after my sheep and vineyards.
What is your worst habit?
Finishing peoples' sentences - according to my children.
How has 2016 been for you?
It has been an invigorating and inspiring year, in which we've always had one eye on the future. It has, however, been a tough and challenging period. Having experienced immense change within the business, economically, globally and technologically, satisfying all stakeholders, our shareholders, customers, partners and employees has been difficult at times.
If you didn't work in the IT channel, what would be your dream career?
I'd like to be a sheep farmer. I studied at an agricultural college and always wanted to work outside, which is what led me into forestry. It's still an ambition of mine to go back to that industry and at some point I'd like to buy a farm with my wife, raising sheep and growing my own food.
What major issues will the channel face in 2017?
The three big areas of disruption will be consumption-based service models, cloud and data privacy and protection. The proliferation towards consumption-based economic models is a major issue that we all face. As an industry we need to adjust and deliver technologies that match the way our customers want to consume and use them. Cloud is becoming the norm. It's all about meeting the demands of the business model versus cashflow. Providing services that are flexible and scalable is becoming increasingly important as a consequence. A coming change that will have a major impact in 2017 will be changes to the EU Data Protection Law. Businesses will need to make the necessary adjustments to remain compliant and as technology and data management providers, it's up to us to make sure they're readily equipped.
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