What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was as an account manager at Clement Clarke Communications. I had worked there for two years when my cousin pointed me towards EMC and for that I will always be grateful.
What will be the most important trend to follow in 2015?
34-year-old men in suits get pity rather than adulation when they climb trees
The software-defined datacentre and the movement towards the adoption of a true hybrid cloud strategy. The software-defined datacentre can offer businesses an automated internal service catalogue and a private cloud infrastructure. This will be the first step in harnessing public cloud services for a true hybrid cloud strategy.
What is your favourite joke, or the one you heard most recently?
I bought my girlfriend a wooden leg for Christmas… it wasn't her main present - it was just a stocking filler.
What never fails to make you sad or disappointed? Why?
The continued demise of my beloved Bristol Rovers FC. One of the biggest and most affluent cities in the country and we currently have one of our teams in non-league football.
What is one thing you miss from being a kid that you no longer do or can do?
Tree climbing. It turns out that 6'4'' 34-year-old men in suits get pity rather than adulation when they climb trees. It's a shame.
Where would you like to go on your next holiday?
New Orleans and San Francisco. In the past 10 years I haven't taken more than a week off at a time, and I always struggle to remove myself from my BlackBerry/iPhone, so a transatlantic two-week jaunt needs to be considered.
If you were given too much change in a shop, would you give it back?
It depends on the shop. If it was an independent shop, of course I'd give it back. If it was Currys then no, their faulty products have recently been the cause of flooding in my kitchen. I'd keep the change and invest in armbands and swimming trunks to wear the next time I'm brave enough to open the dishwasher door.
Which is more important: a good leader, or the team as a whole?
As a sales leader, I'll say good leaders! No, it's the team all the way. I have account managers who are more talented than I ever was in my previous life as a sales account manager. I always recognise my weaknesses and their strengths, and I count my lucky stars I have such a great team.
What was your most important lucky break in life so far? Did you make the most of it?
Meeting my girlfriend. Actually, there's a high chance she may not read this so I'll say landing my first IT job at EMC.
If someone shrank you to the size of a pencil and put you in a blender, how would you get out?
I wouldn't bother. Life the size of a pencil is no life at all. I'd encourage the Gulliver-like character looking in at me to hit the start button.
Will there always be value in printed books and magazines?
Yes, I'm an old romantic in that sense - I like the look and feel of a book. I also like to see my book collection grow. I've had a huge floor-to-ceiling bookcase built in my house and I've realised I'm nowhere near well read enough to fill it. Moving to an e-reader is only going to make those shelves look even more pathetic.
What is the best way to get UK plc growing again?
We need to encourage and harness young talent, as they will be the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. The easiest way to do that is to abolish, or at least lower, university tuition fees. University has become too elitist and university halls are filled with the kids with the deepest pockets rather than the kids with the greatest minds.
Craig Russell is sales director - datacentre & managed services at MTI Technology
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