Chairman, ANS Group
Career so far I started ANS in 1996 in my back bedroom in Droylsden. It now turns over £47m and I am involved in other successful businesses and the Greater Manchester LEP.
If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be? Hugh Heffner. No not really. Probably the prime minister. It would be fascinating to have access to the information and people that he does. And I'm sure I have a few policies that would shake things up a bit!
What will next year's most overhyped industry buzzword be? Probably cloud but only because a lot of people are talking about it without understanding it. Cloud computing will revolutionise the industry, but at the moment it seems that a lot of peoples' understanding of it begins and ends with the word itself.
Has 2012 been a good, bad or ugly year? It has been a great year. I have been saying for four years now that recessions are beatable and we are continuing to prove that with 60 per cent growth in the past 12 months.
What would you have as your last meal? Starter: deep fried mushrooms with garlic dip. Main course: steak, broccoli, carrots and boiled potatoes with lashings of gravy. Garlic bread with cheese on the side. Followed by Eton mess. And a nice bottle of Belvedere Vodka. Oh, and a mint tea.
What keeps you awake at night? Our latest addition to the family: our new puppy.
What piece of technology could you not be without? Heating.
Have any of your predictions come true this year? I predicted that ANS would continue to grow and we have done just that. We have moved our focus towards managed cloud offerings as we see that as the future for the industry and our experiences with our customers since then seems to justify this decision as well.
What is the best partner/customer trip you have ever been on? Cisco's annual conferences are always fantastic.
What do you see as the channel's biggest challenge in 2013? As I mentioned, the industry's move towards cloud will prove challenging in two aspects. One is managing the customer's shift in perception of how IT infrastructures can be delivered, and two is for cloud providers with a solid and well-defined message to differentiate themselves from the many providers that just throw the word cloud about without any real definition of what they offer.
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