What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job out of university was as marketing project manager for a small niche asset management software company, as part of a TCS scheme to bring education and SMBs together. It provided software to the prison service and I had to relaunch it to other markets. From there, I've always worked with IT companies, either client or agency side.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Tough one, but I'll go with automobiles. My dad has a passion for racing cars and he's often let me share track days with him in his Vision. It definitely satisfies the need for speed!
What is your favourite joke or the one you heard most recently?
My neighbour gave his partner a Tesco Value Valentine's Day card - absolutely priceless and the best laugh in a long time!
"In my dreams ..."
I can actually sing and sound quite good!
What was your best business trip or junket ever?
The funniest was in America having to wake a senior colleague up after he was two hours late to deliver a keynote, and finding he had passed out fully clothed in the bath in his hotel room. But the best was getting to spend a free weekend in Boston, because the flights were too expensive to travel on the Sunday night.
What was the best holiday you ever went on?
Costa Rica last year. I saw some really remote parts of the rainforest, but best of all I learnt to surf, went zip-lining over the forest canopy, horse riding, whitewater rafting and danced a lot of salsa! An excellent adventure with some of the friendliest, most chilled people ever.
If you had a week to live, how would you fill it?
I'd grab all my nearest and dearest and party - all week!
What would your superpower be?
I think I'd be a witch - a good one like Samantha, played by Elizabeth Montgomery in the TV show Bewitched. I'd still be able to fly (on my broom, but able to play Quidditch) and annoying people would disappear with a twitch of my nos.
Do you or have you read Channelweb.co.uk on your mobile phone or other handheld device?
Not so far, but I will now I have my iPhone.
If someone shrunk you to the size of a pencil and put you in a blender, how would you get out?
Probably in bits -- when the lunatic who shrunk me and stuck me in there rinsed the blender out!
Print or online news?
Print on Sundays, and online at work
Do you use social media?
I prefer to keep business and personal types separate, so I use Facebook for social and LinkedIn for work
Will the economic recovery continue?
The economy will recover eventually. In IT, businesses are still growing even if margins are squeezed. I'm sure we will see more dips yet, and action from the Government to continue supporting growth.
What does the channel most need to learn to succeed and grow this year?
The channel needs to employ the skills and talent to adopt and implement new technologies. The IT environment is increasingly complex, which often means the solutions employed can be complex to architect. Be focused on the business you want and add value for your customers.
Your closest near-death experience?
Learning to windsurf on a cold lake in Essex years ago, I stood up, fell off, and the mast clobbered me! Thankfully, the guy I was with pulled me out of the water, and brought me round with a bar of chocolate. Though I looked like a blueberry with a peanut allergy, I escaped with only bruises and the nasty taste of the water, which had been visited by large numbers of ducks.
Helen Major is channel marketing manager for northern Europe at AppSense
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