What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
Having been turned down as a milkman, my very first job was as a fork lift driver. But my career started in advertising; I worked in agencies for some 15 years, including for IT clients such as HP and IBM.
I got into IT through my involvement in mobile telecoms and fibre-optic data transfer. It was as a result of the whole convergence dynamic between telecommunications and IT.
What is your favourite joke or the one you heard most recently?
A group of explorers were shocked to come across a mummy covered in chocolate and hazelnuts while exploring an Egyptian pyramid. They think its Pharaoh Rocher.
In my dreams...
...I don't remember my dreams very often and those that I do remember don't seem to have any consistent thread. However, I think a yacht, a calm sea, a gentle breeze and a beautiful sunset is hard to beat.
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
The most important characteristic for a channel partner is to understand the entire picture.
A good VAR knows that it's not just about the sell and cares about customers enough to make sure they're well looked after.
This can range from making sure they procure the right product to ensuring they have enough software licences. It all goes hand in hand.
What is more important: anger or passion?
Passion. If you're passionate about what you do, there should never be any reason to be angry, even if things go wrong. You just pick yourself up and try again.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Driving on our overcrowded roads is no fun, and because of security procedures, airports are a nightmare, so it has to be trains. Let someone else have the hassle of getting you where you want to be.
What are you reading?
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. It's a great feel-good book that includes many of the great events and people of the 20th century.
What was the last film you saw and what did you think of it?
The World's End, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Pegg is terrific and it is a very funny film, though the ending left me a bit confused.
If you had your time again, what would have been your next choice of career?
If I wanted an easy life, an economist. It doesn't seem to matter how wrong your forecasts are, you're still in demand. Or more seriously, a political journalist as you're in the know about national and international events.
What has been your toughest moment at work so far, and how did you resolve it?
I worked in Romania for a couple of years at a start-up mobile phone company. While my Romanian colleagues were well educated and eager, there was an unwillingness for anyone to swim against the tide of general opinion - not surprising bearing in mind their history.
That group-think, together with poor infrastructure, bureaucracy and corruption made the job exhausting. Fortunately I was on a fixed-term contract, so the situation resolved itself.
If you were competing in The X Factor, what song would you choose?
I'd sing ‘Food, Glorious Food' in a desperate attempt to get off The X Factor and on to MasterChef.
Julian Swan is EMEA director of compliance marketing at the BSA
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