What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
A paper round, but obviously that didn't turn out to be a career. My first job in IT was as an internal account manager for a reseller called LanBase. It wasn't deliberate; I was looking for a sales job. I found that I just loved technology and the way it develops so fast; I think that enthusiasm has allowed me to progress. I've been lucky to find a career I love.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Trains. The only one of the three where I can get on with some work without either the fear (planes) or reality (automobiles) that I might die.
What sport should be in the Olympics?
Darts. I'm a massive fan of the sport and I still can't understand why it isn't in the Olympics. I'd be the first to buy tickets to Frimley Green to watch it in 2012...
"In my dreams ..."
... I own my own lake in France, my own chalet in the Alps and my own villa in Spain. I'm some way off any of them!
What was your best business trip or junket ever?
Maui in the Hawaiian Islands on a 3Com Presidents Club trip in 1998. I'm still counting the days until I can get back. The kids are probably three years away from being able to deal with the 16-hour journey. Beautiful beaches, amazing hotels, wonderful people, the best diving, and the weirdest feeling that you are five hours from ‘real' land.
If you had a week to live, how would you fill it?
With my family and friends. They'd just have to make sure they were happy spending it on the side of a lake, as I'd also need to be fishing for a lot of it!
... forget a good deed! I feel there are far too many people in this industry who forget those they have met on the way. I always have time to help someone who has helped me.
... make time for my family and friends. No matter how much I love this job, it wouldn't mean anything without the support of my family and friends. I've seen far too many people who have lost those closest to them and then regretted not being there enough.
Print or online news?
Online, without a doubt! I've just become the proud owner of an iPad which has given me the option of getting a huge amount of media electronically. I download The Times iPad edition every day. Magazines like Wired are taking electronic media to a new level and I advise anyone with an iPad to download at least one edition.
Do you use social media?
I, like most of my colleagues, use Linkedin to stay in touch with people in the industry. I wouldn't say I use all the features though and I do intend to put more effort in.
On a personal level, I'm completely addicted to Facebook. I can't seem to look at my phone without a quick check to see who is doing what. It must be the most addictive web app ever designed, surely? Lastly, I'm a massive fan of blogs and Twitter and find myself constantly checking on people I follow.
What does the channel most need to learn?
The word ‘value' in VAR or VAD seems to be overlooked so much these days.The best partners I work with are those that work with us to develop the market. They specialise in technologies that complement each other rather than agree to sell anything to anyone. They establish a relationship based on trust that allows us to know that we are working with someone who wants to work with us and lastly, they understand that the customer or prospect is our customer or prospect, not just theirs. Funnily enough, the partners that meet all of these criteria also happen to be some of the most successful.
Do vendors do enough to help the channel?
In the main, no. I've worked in resellers, distributors and vendors and I am often amazed at how bad some vendors are at working with the channel. The worst kinds are those that have seen sudden growth, who often seem to forget just who got them there in the first place. Recognising and rewarding good channels is essential to any vendor's success and I hope that any company I work for will always reflect this ideology.
Mark Fullbrook is director for UK and Ireland at Cyber-Ark Software
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