Career so far: I hitchhiked around the world, joined Rank Xerox sales in 1981, set up a recruitment company in 1987, an Apple dealership in 1988, an ISP in 1991 and then Softcat in 1993.
If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be and what would you do? My next door neighbour. I'd cut down all his trees that stop me having a perfect view of Cliveden and Windsor Castle.
What would you have as your last meal? Pan-fried foie gras, asparagus with a poached egg, lobster in garlic butter, my wife's sticky toffee pudding and a cheese board to include Vacherin Mont d'or. I'd have a wonderful selection of wines, including Château Talbot 1982, Château Margaux 1990 and a Taylor's 1922 port with the cheese. I'd then open the 1963 Black Bowmore - that would finish me off. When I die my friends are under strict instructions to lock themselves in my wine cellar and not come out until it is empty, so I'd like to drink some of the good stuff before them.
What is the best corporate jolly you have ever been on/taken partners on? The Softcat incentive trip to Fiji in 2007 was amazing. We bought some land and built a house for a homeless family with 10 children, and we then renovated an orphanage for a fantastic bunch of kids. This year we are taking 40 staff to Cambodia in November to build a school. It's wonderful to be able to give something back while travelling the world, bonding as a team and having fun.
Do you see the cloud as a threat or an opportunity? The cloud is a wonderful opportunity. The constant change in the IT industry is what makes it fun, interesting and why we all earn so much money. Who was it who said, the only constant is change?
Have any of your predictions come true this year? Yes. Apple shares going through the roof, and they will again next year.
What do you see as the channel's biggest challenge in 2011? We are at a very interesting time for the UK economy. The cuts the government has to make will filter through almost every part of the business world, causing a flat economy for the next few years. That, coupled with the dramatic changes in the industry of the cloud, smartphone technology and all the security challenges, this really is a year for survival of the fittest. If your business isn't offering true value in these areas, you will struggle.
What is the best part of your day? Turning my compost heap every evening. I'm addicted to my garden, and every night when I get home I have a glass of wine, walk around the garden and finish off turning the compost heap to ensure it rots with enough air to produce carbon dioxide rather than methane, which is bad for the environment. We are privileged to live in such a beautiful world. Let's keep it that way.
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