Colin Brown

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Colin Brown

Managing director, Softcat

What was your dream career as a child?

Lorry driver - the long, open roads, lunches at roadside cafes, listening to the radio all day long. Ah, the naivety of youth!

What has been your personal highlight of 2019?

With Softcat, taking the company through the $1bn revenue milestone - about two years earlier than I'd even dreamed of when I joined in 2012. And on a personal basis, completing the Great North Run in September, a truly life-affirming experience.

Which famous person deserves a (gentle) slap?

Ignoring politicians (too obvious, too many), I'd say Adam Neumann, the WeWork founder - an Icarus story if ever there was one.

Which of your 2019 predictions have come to pass?

None that I can recall, and it looks like Ireland to win the Rugby World Cup is another miserable prediction fail!

What TV show have you binge watched this year?

It was only four episodes but I binged on The Virtues, a series written by the unparalleled Shane Meadows and featuring Stephen Graham as well as original music by PJ Harvey. It was emotionally draining, the last episode utterly eviscerating - TV at its best.

How has 2019 been from a business perspective?

Excellent overall - strong growth in most areas and particularly pleased to see our hybrid cloud and datacentre business rocketing.

What annoys you most about your commute?

Most days it's fine, actually!

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

My good friend from school, who's a music journalist and broadcaster, MCed the concert in Belfast in 1998 where Bono introduced David Trimble and John Hume as two men who were making history, referring to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement which signalled the end of nearly 30 years of extreme violence in Northern Ireland (where I'm from). I so wish I could have been there to witness it, and I so hope that this Brexit nightmare doesn't jeopardise the peace the people there fought so hard to enjoy.

How do you explain the channel to people?

We are like master chefs - we take the raw ingredients supplied by the vendors and add our own blend of ingenuity to turn them into delicious, exciting and desirable dishes! Every recipe is a well-guarded secret.

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

My favourite - a few days in Budapest this year stands out. Least favourite - I'm so done with Vegas.

What is the biggest challenge facing the channel in 2020?

It's going to be fascinating to see how "market places", being driven by the big hosters, develop. It's another challenge the channel will need to face up to and identify ways to innovate, add value and deliver a superior customer experience.

 

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