What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
I started out in product marketing for Dragon Data, a computer manufacturer. I left college and wanted to work in IT and this was right on my doorstep in South Wales. However, I soon got bored, moved to London, and started working for Gazelle Distribution in the early days of the deregulation of the telecoms market.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Trains, trains and trains every time. I have more than a million air miles from the international sales and marketing jobs I have done over the past few years, but I would rather take the train any time.
What never fails to make you laugh?
What has been your toughest moment at work so far, and how did you resolve the situation?
I had to manage an employee who had alcohol abuse problems. The HR director wanted me to sack him, but I stuck my neck out for the person and got him onto a recovery programme. I am glad to say he turned his life around.
Where would you like to go or what would you like to do on your next holiday?
Skiing in the Alps or surfing at Rhossili on the Gower, which is where I am from.
Will there always be value in printed books and magazines?
I can't see it. I download all my books and newspapers now. It has to be better for the environment.
Is it wrong to tell little white lies?
Yes. A little white lie to you may be a big problem to someone else, and when you're caught out you will lose all credibility. Besides which, you need a good memory.
What will be the most important trend to follow in 2013?
I think channel partners need to take great care to decide if they are going to back public or private cloud initiatives. While public cloud may be very attractive initially, the reseller may be signing away future revenue streams and losing customers.
Can politicians ever be trusted on IT?
I think so. Certainly they seem to be trying harder to understand the market. The new G-Cloud government procurement initiative is a good move, as this has simplified the procurement process, allowing public sector organisations to easily assess and purchase from a far greater number of approved suppliers - including many SMBs that may not have been considered before.
What is the best way to get UK plc growing again?
Pump more money into infrastructure projects such as new roads, hospitals, schools and better IT infrastructure. This would get more people into employment, paying taxes, and reduce unemployment costs. Also, it would encourage more companies to take on more trainees and apprentices.
What is more important: loyalty or morality?
Morality. You only need to look back in history to see many cases of misguided loyalty.
What are the traits of a perfect boss?
Being a great leader, and a good listener. Somebody with whom you can debate complex problems and arrive at the right answer.
What was the last film you saw and what did you think of it?
Skyfall -- fantastic. The Aston Martin DB5 was pure class.
Where did you get that hat?
When I was in Moscow a few years ago on business I bought a fur hat from a street trader in Red Square. I only wear it to embarrass my family when I am on skiing holidays.
How do you try to cheer yourself up when you're feeling down?
I go for a long run and then I take my Morgan 4x4 out for a drive. It works every time.
Steve Davis is sales director at Next Generation Data (NGD)
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