Paul Stringfellow

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Paul Stringfellow

Technical director, Gardner Systems

What is your greatest career move to date?
It's not a job move, but a personal decision to involve myself more in the IT community. It has opened up a whole range of new and interesting opportunities, including being part of the global NetApp A-Team as well as involvement in a number of CRN-sponsored events. Could you ask for anything more?

What is top of your bucket list?
A lovely stainless steel pail.

What has changed most since you started working in the channel?
Having been in the channel more than 20 years, the move to cloud is no doubt the change that has been the most disruptive and wide reaching. It has greatly changed the traditional infrastructure channel. Not only for VARs, SIs and so on, but also for distribution, with all major distributors now needing cloud strategies to remain relevant.

How do you think Brexit is going to affect the channel?
The level of impact will depend hugely on what your business does, but regardless of whther your business trades outside of the UK or not, we are already seeing the wider impact: increased prices due to the decrease in the value of the pound of course making end user solutions more expensive. We are also seeing some of our customers who work outside the UK being affected by indecision in their businesses as they try to evaluate the wider impact.

What is your least favourite task during the working day?
Meetings - not all of them, but some of them can be a draining waste of time.

If you were an animal, what would you be?
A labrador - loyal, friendly and enthusiastic.

If you won the big one on EuroMillions, what would you do?
I'm taking the 5th - my answer may incriminate me.

What is your worst habit?
Probably moaning at TV programmes that I don't like - yes, The X Factor, you know who you are - when my patient wife and daughter are trying to watch them. I've made it worse by encouraging my son
to be just the same.

How has 2016 been for you?
It has been a good year, business wise: challenging but entertaining, getting involved in some fantastic opportunities and projects, as well as increased community involvement which has opened new doors including a trip to Silicon Valley.

If you didn't work in the IT channel, what would be your dream career?
I think I may have said this before, but a sports journalist would be ideal. Getting paid to give my opinion and report on great sporting occasions would seem a cool way to make a living. Although in the back of my mind, being an actor seems a blast, based on nothing other than I'm sure it would be fun, rather than on my having any talent.

What major issues will the channel face in 2017?
The speed of change will continue to catch out those in the channel who fail to adapt. The ever-growing reach of cloud and as-a-Service offerings also will continue to erode business and margins in the more traditional channel. Even those who have embraced or are ‘born in the cloud' will continue to be challenged by the flexibility and ease of delivery cloud brings, letting competition set up quickly and potentially deliver the same services, but without the investment and running costs of the more established players.

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