Paul Stringfellow

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Technical director, Gardner Systems

What achievement are you most proud of?

From an industry point of view, I'm pretty pleased with how my career has developed to date. It has not always been perfect, but I've had the fortune to develop a path that has challenged, entertained and interested me over the last 20 years.

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

The obvious change is the cloud and how it's changing so many aspects of what we do, how we design IT solutions and architecture and how it's changing how users want to consume IT services and what they expect from today's technology experience.

What three things could you not live without?

Food, water and oxygen... literally, without them I'd die!

What has been your most embarrassing moment so far?

I was in New York on business, trying to get a cab back to the hotel. Eventually a stretch limo pulled up and offered to take us. In we jumped and enjoyed the ride. I met up later with a colleague who asked if I could take a look at his laptop. At that point alarm bells rang... where was my laptop? In the back of a stretch limo in New York. I headed outside - how hard could it be to find a stretch limo on the streets of New York in rush hour? Whenever I talk data security, that story is never far away!

What do your family think you do all day?

A couple of years ago, my son did a week of work experience with me. It was just before Christmas, so it was a whirl of customer meetings (his overriding feeling was they are boring), presentations (Dad likes to talk) and a Christmas dinner at Anfield, so I'd guess it's talk, talk, talk, eat dinner in nice places!

Who is your ultimate celeb crush?

I'm not sure it's a crush, but I love Dame Judi Dench. I would watch her in anything or on any chat show. Wonderful actor and seems to be mad as a box of frogs - I bet she's a great night out!

What is your guilty pleasure?

I don't agree with the concept of guilty pleasure, but things people may be surprised I enjoy - I loved Glee and am a big fan of the reboot of Prisoner: Cell Block H. They remind me of many a childhood memory!

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

Politics in this country is a mess. There is no reasoned debate, too much focus on personality, too much press influence. I would start to change that and drop the childish nonsense that is PMQs. That and ban celebrity culture: people who are celebrities because they are celebrities and have no discernible talent!

Has 2015 been a good, bad or ugly year?

Good, if somewhat challenging. From a company perspective we are changing and looking to reinvent again. It's getting our positioning and messaging right so we can continue to be relevant to our customers. We've done well so far, but there is still work to do.

As an individual I'd taken the decision to throw myself much more into the tech community and getting involved in all kinds of events, which has opened up some great opportunities, presented for some interesting people, been invited to join the select NetApp A Team and of course working with CRN.

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

I think I'd quite like to be a sports journalist, something that involved me blabbing on about something I enjoy - bit like I do with technology I guess!

What major issues will the channel face in 2016?

Ensuring we know how to embrace cloud. It is certainly changing the traditional way people consume IT and services and as a channel we need to accept that and look at how we change our business to ensure we remain relevant and profitable.

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