Chris Roche

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Chris Roche

Chief executive, Celerity

What was your dream career as a child?

My dream career would have been either as a professional rugby player or working in the legal profession.

What has been your personal highlight of 2019?

The revenue growth of Celerity, driven by the closure of the largest transaction the business has ever won was a personal highlight for me. Especially due to the teamwork and dedication of the Celerity team, working hand-in-glove with our partners and customers to ensure the desired outcome was achieved for all parties.

Which famous person deserves a (gentle) slap?

Any reality TV ‘personality'. Why? Why not!

What two things (apart from family) would you grab if your house was on fire?

My phone and old family photo albums.

Which of your 2019 predictions have come to pass?

The transition to ‘services' in the IT market has continued to increase. However, the move to public cloud is starting to reach the second phase, whereby everything is hybrid cloud. These were both things that I have predicted for a number of years.

What TV show have you binge watched this year?

Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been a good bit of light relief.

How has 2019 been from a business perspective?

The market in 2019 remains incredibly challenging, with uncertainty around Brexit, the overall political climate and also the overall global economy causing decisions to take longer than normal and investment decisions being delayed.

That being said, the data protection and security messaging that Celerity is currently taking to market is very much resonating with our customers, aligned to where the investment monies are being focussed.

What annoys you most about your commute?

I live rurally and really enjoy my commute. I've grown to embrace stray cows/sheep/slow tractors and errant bales of hay which I thought I never would!

If you could witness one past event, what would it be?

I would have loved to witness the fall of the Berlin Wall first-hand. I watched it unfold on TV at the time, but I'm guessing that being in Berlin in that period would have been very special.

How do you explain the channel to people?

The channel is now an ecosystem of organisations that work together in order to put forward technical solutions that deliver against the business needs of our customers. This includes VARs, MSPs, vendors, SIs and many other organisations, all of whom have a place in what is a very complex business model. We compete against, and partner with, the same organisations on a daily basis, which remains a challenge.

What have been your favourite and least favourite partner conference destinations?

Both my favourite and least favourite destination has to be Las Vegas. I love it and loathe it in equal measure.

What is the biggest challenge facing the channel in 2020?

This biggest challenge for the channel in 2020 remains finding and retaining the necessary skills to set you apart from your competition.

People in the channel make all the difference, and your business is only ever as good as the people in it; dealing with your customers on a day-to-day basis. In particular, good sales skills are becoming harder to find, as business models are changing.

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