What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
Car sales at my father's garage. My first job in IT was as an assistant analyst at Proctor & Gamble. I did a degree in computer information systems design at Kingston Polytechnic and worked there on a year's work experience.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Automobiles, because I spend most of my life in one! My father used to fix and sell cars at his garage so I would help him out and have always had an interest in cars.
In my dreams…
…I would play golf at Gleneagles with Welsh golfing legend Ian Woosnam.
Oranges or bananas?
Oranges, because I prefer the bright colour. I only eat bananas at breakfast to be healthy.
What has been your toughest moment at work so far, and how did you resolve the situation?
Restructuring the channel at Novell. It enabled the company to drive 80 per cent of its business through partners. Before that, it was 80 per cent direct, so there were a lot of hurdles.
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
Strong customer relationships are essential, as well as the desire to add value to their customers' business needs through innovation.
Where would you like to go or what would you like to do on your next holiday?
My next holiday is already booked. We are going skiing in Switzerland in February. I've been once a year for the past five or six years, and I can't wait.
Your closest near-death experience?
Learning to ski.
Will there always be value in printed books and magazines?
Yes, I think there will be. I like reading a book, especially on holiday - it's normally the only chance I get to read, and I don't want to look at a screen because I do that every day.
Would you rather draw up the plans, or carry them out?
Carry them out. My previous role was at a start-up so that involved doing everything, not just the strategic stuff. It required a lot of attention to detail.
What do you think will be the most important trend to follow in 2013?
I think there will be a huge focus on the growth of managed service providers (MSPs) as customers make cloud a reality. Vendors need to provide MSPs with cost-effective, workable offerings that provide confidence in delivering cloud to their customers in a secure manner.
What is one thing you miss from being a kid that you no longer do or can do?
I grew up on the Gower near Swansea so I miss living by the seaside. I still have family there so usually go back once a year.
"Golf is a good walk wasted." Discuss.
I totally disagree! I've had great fun playing golf with friends over the past 30 years. My handicap is not very good though.
Are IT skills shortages best filled by on-the-job training or formal education (such as at university)?
A mixture of both. I did a degree which had a year in industry as part of the course so that combination of experience and formal education worked well. That said, you can never beat experience.
If you had your time again, what would be your next choice of career?
Professional golfer. Sadly, I wasn't born with the ability though.
Sean McCarry is a senior UK and Ireland sales director at CA
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