Founder and chief executive, UKFast
What is your greatest career move to date?
What is top of your bucket list?
Building a school. Education has always been a huge passion for me and, as an industry, I feel it's our responsibility to support the next generation of digital superstars. The work UKFast is doing in education is gathering momentum and I've got a feeling that this goal is not as far off as people might expect.
What has changed most since you started working in the channel?
Our business has grown formidably, for a start. While many things have changed, as to be expected in such a fast-moving industry, the focus of the industry is the biggest change. Instead of being exclusively about the technology you offer, the focus is now on the service you provide for your customers. Of course you need to offer cutting-edge tech, but that alone is no longer enough. Now, to remain competitive, you need to push boundaries in customer service. When I started in the channel, the idea of customer service in web hosting was almost non-existent. I'm proud to say we've helped to change that.
How do you think Brexit is going to affect the channel?
The dip in sterling has the potential to present challenges in terms of hardware purchasing and UK tech's global competitiveness. We need to see a sensible resolution to the question marks currently surrounding Brexit.
If you won the big one on EuroMillions, what would you do?
I don't really gamble, so it would be very unlikely. I'm always looking to invest in education and people development, so I would say that it would likely be something along that vein.
What is your worst habit?
It is hard to say no to people when they need your time; equally I don't have time to solve every problem all of the time. I'd say that not striking that balance is my worst habit.
How has 2016 been for you?
This year has been massively positive for me and for the whole UKFast team. It's been a year for smashing goals and targets, and our best year to date. We're undergoing rapid expansion, we have so many exciting things happening, and the vision is beginning to unfold.
If you didn't work in the IT channel, what would be your dream career?
I'd be a songwriter. I started out as a musician, playing piano in the Midland Hotel, so I'd like to go back to that some day.
What major issues will the channel face in 2017?
The rising cost of the dollar against the pound is going to be a major issue in the short and medium term. But we have always found ways around these challenges and we will continue to develop as competition for the US tech giants.
Microsoft has announced plans for a London flagship store in the same neck of the woods as Apple
CRN sat down with FireEye EMEA VP Kevin Taylor, who joined the security vendor earlier this year as it attempts to reconnect with the channel
CEO Whitman set to continue 'reducing the layers' in HPE with 5,000 job cuts, reports Bloomberg
CRN sat down with Mark Nutt, senior vice president for EMEA at Veritas to discuss how resellers view the firm and what the channel can expect next