Sales director, Intuitive Systems and Networks
What is your greatest career move to date?
Twelve months into my first role with a young ISP, I-Way, I was fought over by the sales and technical directors, tempting me towards their respective sides of the business. The sales director won me over and he then mentored me through a few roles in internal sales, then onto a job on the road, from which I've not looked back.
What is top of your bucket list?
A trans-American roadtrip - possibly in a Winnebago, possibly something sportier - while sampling some of the odder places to stay, such as motels shaped as a beagle or the like. I'd be hoping that large stretches will have no mobile signal too.
What has changed most since you started working in the channel?
Everything is just more responsive and, as such, you set the bar high in how you work with your clients. Whether right or wrong, most things are needed immediately and there's no going back from that. It means an excellent service can be delivered from small companies such as ISN, but the ability to reign in the ‘now' culture is here to stay.
How do you think Brexit is going to affect the channel?
More quotes and more versions of quotes. The vendors and the distributors might like to think we can close things quite quickly, but with solution-based selling it means that the dollar-based elements of our overall solution become the noisiest element which, if it does not settle down over time, will become frustrating.
What is your least favourite task during the working day?
Getting started on larger tasks. Once I'm going, I'm good - but getting going is another matter entirely.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
I'm pretty envious of our family goldfish, Gnasher. He looks pretty chilled and I'm sure he's overfed with each of my three kids (over)feeding him at least twice a day. "Just keep swimming" is a motto that I can happily take into the office every day.
If you won the big one on EuroMillions, what would you do?
Build and operate the UK's first hotel in the shape of a beagle.
What is your worst habit?
I waffle a fair bit, be it through passion or nervous energy. I can usually reign it in with customers, but on internal meetings it'll end up with everything over-running, leading to me being famously late for sessions with the sales team. I am aware of it though; that's the first step towards reigning it in.
How has 2016 been for you?
It has been good so far as ISN enters its eighth year of trading. Our managed services elements are getting ‘stickier' with key clients and as a result our year-end saw us finish 20 per cent above target for the year. This lets us invest in more sales, more technical staff and how we ‘click' with vendors is becoming clearer for us to see. New challenges always lay ahead, but for a small organisation, years like 2016 breed huge confidence in all of us and set us into next year in the right spirit.
If you didn't work in the IT channel, what would be your dream career?
A career in film production of some kind. It was what I studied at university but never took anywhere, but the creative spark is definitely still there somewhere.
What major issues will the channel face in 2017?
Continual differentiation and avoiding stagnation. We come across it a lot and how customers can settle on off-the-shelf services that are not tailored to their needs. ISN is fortunate in that our agility lets us talk about the new and exciting with our customer-base, and the joy in working here is that the team is passionate about the cutting-edge of the industry. As services continue to be commoditised elsewhere, ISN needs to rise above that in order to demonstrate to users how its solutions can shine.