Mike Harris

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Chairman, VoiceComms Warehouse Group of Companies

What achievement are you most proud of?

The naming of Total Network Solutions as one of the Financial Times's fastest growing companies on three separate occasions.

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

Everything has become more structured. Opportunities to find a gap in the market have shrunk and the more traditional mechanisms of business have come into play. The network is becoming an expected commodity. When you walk into a building you expect to be able to get to the internet, which was definitely not the case 10 years ago. IT has become mainstream and the chances to differentiate are limited. The race to get big has been won by the likes of BT and Dimension Data and no doubt they look after their top customers very well, but there's a lot of very frustrated, non-FTSE-250, successful organisations who are struggling to get the service they demand. And that's where the opportunity still lies.

What three things could you not live without?

1. A cellar-full of Rainbow's End family reserve, vintage 2012. 2. A very nice comfy chair. 3. A good stock of films to watch.

What has been your most embarrassing moment so far?

When I was an apprentice at British Telecom, I was stripped naked, tied to a tea trolley and pushed into the operator manual board. That was quite an embarrassing moment - but not of my own making, other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time! What do your family think you do all day? I don't know is the honest answer. I try to keep family life separate from work, but they still accuse me of working all the time. I can't help it: whenever my phone rings, I work.

Who is your ultimate celeb crush?

Sandra Bullock.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Listening to 1980s music, particularly Bananarama.

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

If I were, I think it would drive me mad.

Has 2015 been a good, bad or ugly year?

It's been interesting - there's been a lot of growth and opportunity. There have been challenges, but it's nice that there has an underlying base of confidence, which means there's opportunity to sell customers goods and services. If you didn't work in the IT channel, what would you do? I'd dedicate myself to the football industry.

I'm already chairman of The New Saints FC and have taken them from a part-time, mid-table team in the Welsh Premier League, to record-breaking champions who regularly compete in the Europa and Champions League group stages. I am very proud of the team representing Wales and helping raise the profile of our national league throughout the UK and Europe.

What major issues will the channel face in 2016?

Finding more people who are prepared to get their hands dirty. The way the education system is set means that everyone wants to be the chief executive. Sometimes you do need people who can just knock holes in walls or carry things from A to B.

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