Founder, New Signature
What was your dream career as a child?
I've always been a geek. I knew I'd end up somewhere in technology.
What has been your personal highlight of 2019?
Collecting New Signature's award for the Microsoft 2019 UK Country Partner of the Year. This is normally a once in a lifetime achievement, but I'm incredibly lucky to have been able to do this twice. It's a very humbling experience.
Which famous person deserves a (gentle) slap?
Donald Trump. You'd have thought being able to string a sentence together would be a prerequisite to becoming president of the US. Apparently not.
What two things (apart from family) would you grab if your house was on fire?
My laptop and phone. With the cloud, that's all I need to be productive.
Which of your 2019 predictions have come to pass?
That Microsoft would win the cloud wars. They are now the undisputed number one.
What TV show have you binge watched this year?
My wife and I loved What/If. It's a thriller with more twists and turns than a country lane.
How has 2019 been from a business perspective?
Our best year, ever, by several orders of magnitude. We hit a fraction under 70 per cent growth, which given we are now a reasonably sized business was a fair clip.
What annoys you most about your commute?
Train delays. I mean seriously how hard can it be to get a train to drive down the tracks. It's not like they can take a wrong turn!
If you could witness one past event, what would it be?
The Apollo 11 moon landing. Who knew you could fly to the moon with less computing power than you'd find in a basic watch 50 years later!
How do you explain the channel to people?
The channel is like an extended sales and marketing team for vendors. The channel takes products and propositions from vendors and tailors them to solve the specific challenges for a customer. We go from the theory to the practice.
What have been your favourite and least favourite partner conference destinations?
My least favourite destination, by some way, is Las Vegas. It's just the most peculiar town in the world. It's big, hot and, well, weird. My favourite destination was Toronto. It's like a cross between the UK and America.
What is the biggest challenge facing the channel in 2020?
So everyone is going to say Brexit, obviously. For us, it's not. Brexit will be jet fuel for us.
I believe the biggest challenge for the channel is the defining of the relationship between vendors and partners. Increasingly, vendors will work more closely with end customers, circumventing the channel. This is something we are seeing more and more. The channel's opportunity is to continue to demonstrate where they add value.