UK sales director, Avnet Technology Solutions
What is your greatest career move to date?
The move which brought me into Avnet seven years ago. I am one of the few who didn't join via acquisition.
What is top of your bucket list?
CRN A-List. A lifetime ambition achieved today.
What has changed most since you started working in the channel?
The channel itself - yesterday's channel was a vastly different place where money could be made simply reselling hardware, software and related services. Nowadays, the returns are not there in resell and it's all about solution selling; that's where the growth is and that's why Avnet has successfully transitioned to a solutions-led approach over the past year or so.
How do you think Brexit is going to affect the channel?
Assuming that it goes ahead at some point, it will present both opportunity and challenge. I have heard all sides of the debate from our top partners who sell across the region and they don't feel any immediate risk to their business model. For these partners Avnet's role is to continue offering regional support structures and that won't change.
What is your least favourite task during the working day?
My days are always different so there isn't a single daily task that I dislike. That said, I don't enjoy expense submissions and I hear that our FD doesn't particularly enjoy receiving mine!
If you were an animal, what would you be?
I would be a dog and I would live in the UK. We simply love animals in this country and I imagine that I would be a loyal and friendly pet.
If you won the big one on EuroMillions, what would you do?
First of all, I can say with certainty that I wouldn't be a winner who says that they wouldn't change! Of course it's a life-changing event and I would try to help as many people as I could with the change left from the superyacht, supercars and apartments in exotic locations.
What is your worst habit?
Impatience. I am outcome-based so I struggle with detailed plans talking about how to get there. Just get there and have some fun on the way.
How has 2016 been for you?
It's been great; our youngest joined reception in primary school and now the children are out of the door together in the morning. This feels like a massive milestone crossed.
If you didn't work in the IT channel, what would be your dream career?
We would have a canoe rental shop on the Big Island in Hawaii servicing Kealakekua Bay where Captain Cook met his end. A magical place, but not for James obviously.
What major issues will the channel face in 2017?
It will be different as every year always is. As long as we jump on the opportunities and address the challenges we will find success and happiness. We might also find a rather large acquisition completing. I think 2017 will be fab.
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