Graham Jones

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Graham Jones

UK managing director, Exclusive Networks

What was your dream career as a child?

Being a Liverpool lad, football was always a big part of my childhood. Like many others my age, my dream was to play professionally. I actually ended up playing a few games for Merseyside football team, but then work, girls and career got in the way - in that order.

What has been your personal highlight of 2019?

This has definitely got to be the way the Exclusive Networks team has adapted to the consistent challenges of running a distributor throughout the Brexit chaos and the way that they have handled the pressure that this has put on our vendors and partners.

In my personal life, I feel like my golf is finally improving!

Which famous person deserves a (gentle) slap?

Undoubtedly Theresa May for wasting two years of all of our lives and confounding our businesses.

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

An old picture of my Mum at 18, which we only recently found, and my LP collection (yes, vinyl).

Which of your 2019 predictions have come to pass?

The fact that cloud is finally turning into sales, the Brexit chaos is continuing and the cybersecurity market is maturing at last.

What TV show have you binge watched this year?

The Boys on Netflix. It's a real send up of superheroes.

How has 2019 been from a business perspective?

Very tricky as I have mentioned above! There have been large deals delayed and orders have been taking longer to close. With more consolidation on both the vendor and VAR side of the business, there has been a large focus for us to continue being agile and fill the services and skills gaps where needed.

What annoys you most about your commute?

My commute is three miles of country lanes so I'm very lucky to have such a scenic route into work. However, it does take me past my gym, so I have no excuses not to go!

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

I would have loved to have been in the control room when Apollo 13 re-entered the atmosphere. I can't even imagine how emotional that must have been!

How do you explain the channel to people?

In one sentence I would say that the channel is basically made up of clever people who sell smart stuff to end users. Like us, they have to live on margins, not revenues.

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

The best destination for me was Vienna. It was very clean and refined - the wine and cake was great. The worst has got to be Vegas - I think it's a destination which is just a bit overdone now.

What is the biggest challenge facing the channel in 2020?

Staying relevant in the face of the more and more uneducated purchasing manager, and qualifying that the deal you do all the work on comes your way!

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