UK & Ireland channels director, Hitachi Data Systems
Career so far I've worked for more than 20 years in IT, experiencing roles such as operations management at a Lloyds underwriter, a project/programme management for a stockbroker, tender writing for an Australian retailer, and programme management at a telco services provider. More recently I've had various channel roles within HDS.
If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be? After being glued to the Olympics, it would definitely have to be an elite sports person - the commitment, focus and drive for success is really inspiring. Or, failing that, Bordan Tkachuk!
Has 2012 been a good, bad or ugly year? 2012 has been all of the above. Sales cycles have taken longer and business decisions being slowed or delayed. If you, as an organisation are able to demonstrate the value of what you do, then the business is there. Gone are the days of easy deals; organisations have to get smarter in the way they sell to customers and prospects.
What would you have as your last meal? As long as I have a good bottle of red and there are no anchovies involved, then I'm pretty easy!
What keeps you awake at night? If it's not my three-year-old daughter or the cat, then it's generally down to my wife stealing the duvet.
What piece of technology could you not be without? For me, it has to be the sat nav - I remember the days of trying to circumnavigate Paris with a map - not a nice experience for anyone who was in the car with me!
Have any of your predictions come true this year? I'm not big on predictions as I am the man that in his first job picked our PC operating systems as IBM OS2 over MS-Windows! However, I did predict this year, more so than ever, technology would be less important and customers would look at how that technology is procured and provisioned - we've certainly seen that across our customer base.
What is the best partner/customer trip you have ever been on? Two spring to mind - we took 14 people from Computacenter to the Hitachi headquarters in Japan. It was amazing to see how prevalent Hitachi is over there and actually see where the solutions we sell are built. However, the best trip has to be the regular ski trip we run for our business partners. I have some amazing memories, which (even with regular therapy) I can't get out of my head!
What do you see as the channel's biggest challenge in 2013? There is a definite trend to procure technology on a utility basis. It makes total sense; after all you wouldn't buy your electricity or water upfront for the year, so why buy your technology that way? Channel businesses need to understand whether they want to be the service providers themselves, or if they want to be the ones offering services to the service providers.
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