Senior manager - vendor relations, CompTIA
What is your greatest career move to date?
When I left Microsoft, I was out of the IT channel for 2½ years and living abroad, so I would say one of my greatest career moves was going from an English teacher back into the industry. "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in," as Michael Corleone said once!
What is top of your bucket list?
Visiting Antarctica. It's the only continent I've not been to. I came close once, as I was at the tip of Argentina ready to go but skipped it because of a girl. Luckily, I ended up marrying her.
What has changed most since you started working in the channel?
This is probably the obvious answer but I would say the cloud. Although the technology has been around for a while, before I had a break from IT, the cloud wasn't a term that was used but when I came back it was all anyone talked about. I think its prevalence with clients has afforded solution providers lots of opportunities to diversify their offerings and has caused high growth for the industry as a whole.
How do you think Brexit is going to affect the channel?
That's a tough one, as I am by no means an economic expert. From what I do know, I think it will no doubt have an impact on international tech companies, especially with the uncertainty of what trade agreements the UK can sign with international markets. Also, currency fluctuations will particularly affect some smaller solution providers when it comes to purchasing from vendors, as most technology is manufactured overseas. I also think any changes to EU citizens' ability to work in the UK will negatively impact the channel but I don't realistically see that happening.
What is your least favourite task during the working day?
I don't really have one, as I really enjoy my job but if I had to pick something, then anything to do with Excel spreadsheets. They make my brain numb!
If you were an animal, what would you be?
A dolphin, as I am into scuba diving, so love marine life and they always seem to be very cheerful animals, so must have a good life.
If you won the big one on EuroMillions, what would you do?
Aside from helping people close to me, I'd like to use some to help others but rather than give the money to charity, I'd like to manage a specific charitable project. I'd also try and see as much of the world as possible and as a guilty pleasure, I would buy myself an Audi R8.
What is your worst habit?
Food. I have no self control when it comes to eating all the stuff that tastes great but isn't good for you.
How has 2016 been for you?
It has been a fantastic year. I started looking for the ANZ territory, which is a growing region for CompTIA and after a few visits, we've managed to have lots of success and engagement with the channel there. I also manage some of the largest global tech companies for the EMEA region and have managed to forge great relationships and implement successful joint initiatives which helps to validate what CompTIA does to help the industry.
If you didn't work in the IT channel, what would be your dream career?
I would be a property developer, as I love all the home refurb shows and doing up places. In terms of boyhood dream, an astronaut, as I'd love to go to space (hopefully as a tourist one day).
What major issues will the channel face in 2017?
One still ongoing major issues for the industry is the lack of skilled people applying for the many open jobs we have. Working in the industry has never been better and growth has been phenomenal, so we need to attract more people coming through education and make them aware of the many possibilities of working in this sector, as it's not just about technical roles. I also think IoT will not be a major issue but a big opportunity for the channel in 2017.