Managing director, Equanet
Career so far My background is a little different to that typically found in the channel, as I have less direct industry experience but come with a strong management consulting and strategy skills set. My first management role was that of a financial controller for a pharmaceutical firm in Australia, which I left after 2.5 years to study for an MBA at the London Business School. Post MBA, I joined the management consulting firm AT Kearney in London, working on a wide range of projects globally and across industries and disciplines. After a taxing five years living out of suitcases and commuting to Europe each week, I left consulting and joined a start-up property developer in Dubai as strategy director. Having spent two years in Dubai, I returned to the UK to join Dixons Retail as the head of B2B development, supporting the former managing director Phil Birbeck with transforming Equanet and PC World Business. In August 2012, I took over from Phil as managing director of Equanet.
If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be? This would have to be my wife, so that I can understand if I am really that difficult to live with.
What will next year's most overhyped industry buzzword be? I discussed this with my team and we think it's going to be consumerisation. Everyone talks about it but few have a concrete view of how this translates into a proposition to customers.
Has 2012 been a good, bad or ugly year? It depends for whom. It was a rubbish year for my football club Bayern Munich who finished second place in all three competitions, including losing out to Chelsea in the Champions League final. It was a fantastic year for the UK - despite the economic difficulties - as the Diamond Jubilee, the Olympic and Paralympic Games have demonstrated how spirited the British people are. It was a good year for Equanet as, despite the difficulties in the channel, we have re-shaped the business into a successful IT solutions business. We now have an organisation in place that will deliver real value and exceptional services to our customers.
What would you have as your last meal? Being German, I must admit I do like my schnitzel with roasted potatoes. This is difficult to get in the UK so I hope I will be back in Germany when my time comes.
What keeps you awake at night? Nothing really. The key is to have a plan in place that addresses the key issues that you face personally or professionally. When I have a plan I feel in control and that makes me sleep soundly.
What piece of technology could you not be without? This has to be my 7in 3G tablet. I take it everywhere I go and it gives me access to the internet on a screen that is large enough to make full use of it but small enough to fit into my back pocket.
What is the best partner/customer trip you have ever been on? I haven't been to many since starting in my new position, so I have to reserve judgement. But in general I prefer partner events that are low key and focus on doing good business.
What do you see as the channel's biggest challenge in 2013? It could be creating meaningful and workable propositions that deliver benefits to both customers and solutions providers around the most hyped trends such as consumerisation.
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