A good catch

clock • 4 min read

Nimble Storage's EMEA channel director Peter Gibbs has the Lord to thank for his first break in the industry

What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?

My first jobs were helping out as a fisherman on the family boat and farm. I also had various other jobs whilst in education, such as working for the betting shop chain, William Hill.

It was my first experiences, however, which helped me secure my first position within the IT industry. Employed in a contact centre in Amsterdam, I was working with a head-hunter to help my colleagues find new roles due to a re-org. It was at this point that it was recommended that I apply for a role at Cisco Systems. Despite having never worked in IT, I was interviewed by a fantastic lady, who I later found out to be a staunch Christian, and got the job. When I asked her a few months later why she hired me, given my lack of experience, she responded that she liked the fact I had been a fisherman and how "if it was good enough for the good Lord, it's good enough for me"!

Are you a cat or a dog person?

A dog person

What were you like in school?

Very social

What will be the most important trend to follow in 2016? Why?

A continued move towards cloud-based services and "as-a-service" offerings

What is your most annoying habit?

I've just managed to quit smoking, so now it would probably be biting my nails furiously

What is your biggest regret in business?

The biggest regrets I have in business are those moments when I've hesitated, and then lived to regret the fact that I should have acted upon my gut instinct.

If you were king or queen, what would you do first? Why?

Like all good Miss World contestants, I'd opt for world peace and harmony.

What was the first record you bought?

Come on Eileen, by Dexy's Midnight Runners

What is your most overused word?

"Really?"

Do you have a favourite motivational quote?

"Train hard, fight easy"

Which extinct animal (one only, not a whole species) would you bring back and why?

A Dodo - I would be interested to see how it tasted.

What should the government be doing to help UK businesses grow?

To help businesses grow they need to focus on relevant education for the next generation that takes in the advances in social and consumer technology. Advances in applications and technology mean that businesses can really accelerate their time to market.

What would you like to have on your epitaph? Why?

Not my own words, but those of Lucius Cornelius Sulla: "No man has done me good, no enemy bad, but I have not tried to repay in kind."

What are your three greatest accomplishments (so far)? Why?

Two of my greatest accomplishments have been learning to speak Dutch fluently in just six months and learning to speak Italian - albeit not too well - over the course of 14 years. But my greatest achievement was being able to emigrate abroad and start from scratch.

What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner? Why?

The characteristics of the perfect channel partner are loyalty and mutual reward. We like our channel partners to have the same deep desire for a win-win relationship as we do.

Often resellers or partners feel challenged when a vendor grows to a certain size. But ultimately, it is beneficial to have a profitable growth orientated vendor, in the same way that is important that partners be profitable too. Ultimately, it's a symbiotic relationship whereby partner success and sales enable manufacturers to develop new products for market that the partner can then sell.

How do you cheer yourself up when you're feeling down? Does it work?

A good walk along the cliffs in Cornwall, where I live, tends to do the trick.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently? Why?

If I could do one thing again, it would probably be to apply myself a little harder to my studies than I did. You don't realise when you're young that a little bit of academic knowledge goes a long way in a future career path.

I've been lucky to get to where I've got in the IT world - but could I have got there sooner? Perhaps if I'd had a whole accolade of academic results.

But as well as more qualifications, I'd also have liked to broaden my areas of studies too, to give myself a better grounding in my knowledge base.

 

Peter Gibbs is EMEA channel director at Nimble Storage

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