What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was as a student and involved a one-day-a-week ordeal packaging lambs' tongues in Sainsbury's. After completing my A-Levels I joined Sainsbury's on the graduate training programme, which led to a position implementing their first computerised stock placement and management system.
Back in the day we worked on three 386s, compact 16s which were the most powerful machines Sainsbury's had.
In my dreams…
…my Austin Healy Sprite would be finally restored and I could hit the country roads and find a nice pub somewhere.
What never fails to make you laugh?
"Don't panic, Captain Mainwaring!" Dad's Army always cracks me up. The show had great writing, excellent characters, and was just so ridiculous. I find it funny no matter what mood I am in when I watch it.
What has been your toughest moment at work so far, and how did you resolve the situation?
This morning it has probably been deciding how long I can wait before my first coffee. More seriously, setting up channel operations in a variety of new countries. In the end, we succeeded through being open minded, flexible and, above all, determined.
Do you or have you read ChannelWeb on your mobile phone or other handheld device?
On the PC or iPad, usually while on the go between meetings. My mobile phone's screen is way too small.
What will be the most important trend to follow in 2013?
Without doubt the trend for 2013 will be the move to mobile as everything becomes "anywhere, any time". The choice and affordability of tablets and smart devices is making the cloud accessible to everybody.
Do you think there is a long-term future for IT distribution?
Hopefully, otherwise I will be out of a job! More seriously, the channel will always play a vital role in IT distribution by helping vendors expand globally and through different verticals.
What is the best way to get UK plc growing again? Please explain your idea and why it will work.
The government should tax people less. This is because leaving more money in our pockets will ultimately lead to more consumer spending and create more demand, which will result in more jobs and finally get this recession licked.
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
Ideally, winning even more sales than they can cope with!
But seriously, the perfect channel partner would have a sound understanding of customer needs, what they are selling, and crucially, a serious focus on the cloud.
What are you reading?
I'm halfway through 617: Going to War with Today's Dambusters by Tim Bouquet, a very good read which makes one appreciative of the work our armed forces do.
What was the last film you saw and what did you think of it?
Skyfall - I love the modern Bond movies and I think Daniel Craig has breathed new life into a franchise that was starting to show its age.
I also saw the recent Tintin movie The Adventures of Tintin, which I thought was incredibly impressive, very funny and the animation was outstanding.
If you had your time again, what would be your next choice of career?
I would love to have been an RAF pilot. I've always had an interest in aviation and the excitement of life in the RAF really appeals. Though for now, I'm happy to stay safely grounded.
Martin Painter ia EMEA channel development director at NetSuite
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