Phil Croxford

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Director, partner organisation, VMware UK & I

What achievement are you most proud of?

Professionally, I’d like to think that I’ve left all of the organisations that I’ve worked for with a better understanding and appreciation of the value of partnering and hopefully a better environment for partners as a consequence.

Personally, I’m most proud of having summited Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak – and no there isn’t a cable car to the top!

What has been the biggest change in the channel since you started working in it?

The shift from product resale to true ‘value add’. This is an incredible challenge for our partner community as what constitutes ‘value add’ to both customers and vendors changes continually, so partners need to be able to spot the trends and act quickly to stay ahead of their competition.

What three things could you not live without?

1. My motorbikes because I am a bit of a speed freak. 2. Bicycles to keep me fit. 3. Puddings to undo all of the good that my cycling does!

What has been your most embarrassing moment so far?

While visiting a friend who was heavily into rowing, I asked one of his guests whether he rowed. This guest turned out to be Steve Redgrave! He only had one Olympic gold medal at the time so I think I can be excused.

What do your family think you do all day?

My wife works in the industry, so she knows precisely what I do. I did tell one of my friends that I worked in ‘IT partnering’ and, to this day, she is still convinced that I run an online dating agency.

Who is your ultimate celeb crush?

Kate Beckinsale – specifically Kate Beckinsale in Underworld and Van Helsing – nuff said!

What is your guilty pleasure?

It’s got to be 1980s pop – every year I can be found at the Henley Rewind Festival rocking out to Kim Wilde and ABC although my ‘Flock of Seagulls’ haircut has been somewhat spoilt by male pattern baldness.

What would be your first act if you were made Prime Minister?

Introducing three-day weekends – I love my job, but weekends aren’t long enough! Has 2015 been a good, bad or ugly year? I’d go as far as saying it was a great year. VMware is going through a period of significant change and we passed a key milestone in calendar Q1 when more than 55 per cent of our business came from products outside of our core server virtualization software. That is in no small part due to our loyal partners making the transition to ‘software-defined’ with us.

If you didn’t work in the IT channel, what would you do?

My one regret is not having trained as a fighter pilot, primarily because I was afraid of flying when I was at school.

What major issues will the channel face in 2016?

Our customers are looking for transformation partners who can advise them on how they can transition to hybrid cloud. They will want partners who can look at new and existing infrastructure requirements and advise on how those environments can be delivered cost effectively based on performance, security, data residency and other requirements. Ideally, that organisation would then be able to deliver those different options – public cloud, hosted private cloud or on-premise private cloud and manage workloads across all of those environments. Some partners have grasped this and are well on their way. Others still have a long way to go and risk losing relevance to their customers.

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