Tell us something most people won't know about you I played
the Hammond Organ (badly) in a jazz band for a few years. I stopped playing when I heard a recording of how bad I was. I still play, but only to myself and I never record.
What has been your highlight of 2018 so far?
It will always be our most recent win, which changes regularly.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
It needs to be someone overweight, scruffy and outspoken - perhaps Jack Black.
Which tech firm (other than your own!) do you most admire?
Microsoft is the easy answer because of its relentless pace and hunger. Microsoft has moved from being the Windows and Office company to a cloud leader. But not infra-cloud like Amazon - Microsoft remains an applications business - but Azure applications, Dynamics applications, Office (new) applications.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Listening to jazz music at home when the family are all out. Such a rarity.
What is the most irritating tech buzzphrase of 2018?
‘Digital transformation' is the first of irritants. However, I get most irritated by LinkedIn requests from people with stupid titles such as ‘growth hackers' who appear to have grown nothing; ‘Thought leaders' who think little; ‘International public speakers' who don't speak; and ‘Disrupters' whose only disruption is the failure in the CV.
What would be your first act if you were made Prime Minister?
Day 1: sort Brexit out using business leaders. Day 2: sack most of the cabinet. Day 3: terminate the House of Lords. Day 4: fly Boris to Antarctica on a one-way ticket. Day 5: fix the tax system.
What's the biggest untapped opportunity facing the channel?
Partner co-selling for end-to-end solutions. I suspect that partners that do not co-sell well will be left behind over the coming years. Clients want to buy connected solutions, so partners cannot continue to sell in a disconnected fashion.
What is your most treasured possession?
I tend not to value ‘things'. I don't have expensive houses, watches, suits or cars. I see these things as superficial and wasteful. I feel that the pursuit of things is fuelling discontent in life. I value time. Time with my family, time in business, time to think, time to listen, time to read.
What do your family think you do all day?
Who has been your mentor in business?
I get a lot of traditional mentoring from books. Various people have provided me with great advice on my journey. Adam Shaffer of Micro Warehouse for direct marketing. Tim Crown, founder of Insight for thoughtful business analysis and care for people. Jim Martin of Sayers.com for money management. Martin Wolf of Martin Wolf Associates for M&A. You get something from everyone, particularly those who have worked for me including Gary Butters on enterprise sales, Tony Brooker on mid-market sales, Candice Arnold on social media and Russell Leighton on big business finance.