Antony Byford

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Antony Byford

Managing director, Westcon UK&I

Tell us something most people won't know about you

There is another version of me called Stuart. Not my weekend flame, but my identical twin brother. I'm told I'm the better looking of the two but I must confess he is brighter than me.

What has been your highlight of 2018 so far?

Since joining Westcon late last year, I've had to make some significant changes to our structure, processes, how we manage and measure our performance and moreover what our priorities should be and who the players are to deliver our goals. What has been incredible to witness is the response from the team who have relished the changes and responded tremendously with record results.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

If you wanted a lookalike then of course Stuart, but in the world of acting I would say Tom Hanks. During his career he has always tried a range of roles to challenge himself and I'd like to look back one day to say I did the same.

Which tech firm (other than your own!) do you most admire?

Intel. A key player delivering evolving and aggressive technologies that have kept me employed and excited about being in the IT channel for all these years.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

My love for shoes. I have more than 100 pairs and some are more than 20 years old and don't look a month old. I always say don't go cheap when you spend half your life on your feet.

What is the most irritating tech buzzphrase of 2018?

‘Reach out' - unless of course you're a member of The Four Tops!

What would be your first act if you were made Prime Minister?

Remove VAT from shoes.

What's the biggest untapped opportunity facing the channel?

Multiple vendors have recently informed me that they are seeing increased traction with master agents in the market. Vendors such as Avaya, Mitel and RingCentral are seeing a growing percentage of deals run through master agents and have voiced that this may be the channel of the future. This new channel will provide healthy competition and opportunity for distributors like us.

What is your most treasured possession?

My 3,000+ vinyl collection. I used to DJ for many years and I have a number of originals and bootlegs that are just priceless. And no, I'm not available for birthdays, weddings or bar mitzvahs.

What do your family think you do all day?

Most of my good friends, family and acquaintances don't understand the channel and what it is. Therefore most people think I just sell PCs and continue to ask me to look at their laptops when they stop working.

Who has been your mentor in business?

For a number of years, a very dear friend of mine called Malcom Ramsay, who sadly passed away a year to the day that I write this. A channel legend and damn good fellow.

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