What was your dream career as a child?
A footballer - I peaked at under 9s, scoring 15 goals in one game! Unfortunately my memory is different to some of my team mates, who attribute many of the 15 to goal-hanging before we played offside.
What has been your personal highlight of 2019?
I've made it home for more than 95% of all bath and bed times for my daughter who was born last September. It gives me a huge sense of pride finding a great work-life balance.
Which famous person deserves a (gentle) slap?
Piers Morgan - even when you unfollow him from Twitter he still manages to be in your face in the media, sucking up to anyone famous.
What two things (apart from family) would you grab if your house was on fire?
My AirPods and iPad - I'd alternate between Football Manager and Netflix to take my mind off not having a house anymore.
Which of your 2019 predictions have come to pass?
We made a big bet that Office365 adoption would continue apace (not a tough prediction, I know) and, more importantly, that organisations would have a growing skills gap in securing email, data and users in Office 365. Altinet has had another hugely successful year helping customers with Office365 migrations, security and data protection as a result.
What TV show have you binge watched this year?
I normally watch one series with my wife and one by myself. With my wife it's been Top Boy and by myself it's been Hard Knocks, which follows a different NFL team's pre-season every year as they cut their squad from 90+ to 53.
How has 2019 been from a business perspective?
2019 for Altinet has been the most successful year yet. We're honing in on Office365 and public cloud security and data protection, building a sales and technical team that is hugely knowledgeable in this area, as the skills gap for security in particular is widening all the time. Our sales team has almost doubled this year and it's incredible to see the potential realised that we've built and continue to build for.
What annoys you most about your commute?
I get the train from Manchester to Leeds every day. If I manage to get a seat and find myself next to someone coughing or sneezing then I'll end up standing for the journey and reaching frantically for the anti-bacterial hand gel.
If you could witness one past event, what would it be?
I'm going to answer with sports history - I would love to have seen Muhammed Ali fight Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden. Some of the most important social and political issues of the time were wrapped up in a sporting event that turned out to be the start of a classic rivalry.
How do you explain the channel to people?
I always explain that a lot of the time the channel works a lot like PC World, with a lot of businesses advertising products that they sell without doing anything to apart from taking a payment and calling you a customer. Then I talk about the top few percent or partners, like Altinet, who are like mechanics that take a standard car, tune it and maintain it so it always performs to the best of its ability.
What have been your favourite and least favourite partner conference destinations?
My least favourite was on the outskirts of London; the best was Dubai, which we did with Barracuda a couple of years ago at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
What is the biggest challenge facing the channel in 2020?
It depends who you are. The big guys who don't add much value at all will need to figure out a way to do that. The smaller guys who offer the value but don't figure out a way to survive when cashflow becomes tighter in a world of monthly payments need to address that. The public cloud will be the centre of the IT universe sooner than we expect.