Mark Smyth

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Mark Smyth

Chief operating officer, Apogee

What was your dream career as a child?

Stockbroker. I loved the excitement you saw in movies and thought, that's a fun way to earn lots of money!

What has been your personal highlight of 2019?

Joining Apogee as COO. I work with a great team and feel we are really making a difference. We are striving to continually improve our business and our accomplishments provide me with tremendous satisfaction.

Which famous person deserves a (gentle) slap?

Jeremy Corbyn. He's an absolute…

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

My favourite watch(es) - they're a passion - and my mobile phone.

Which of your 2019 predictions have come to pass?

I predicted 2019 would be a year of continued consolidation in the channel and that trend has continued, especially among resellers.

I also predicted the mess that is Brexit would continue! We are fed up with the B-word and despite so many opportunities to conclude, it's still a mess and we won't really see the full impact until 2020.

What TV show have you binge watched this year?

Succession. It's so amusing with great cast and characters. I watch episodes again just to hear some of the lines!

How has 2019 been from a business perspective?

It's been a year of change, with a major focus on delivering great service and value to our clients with a drive for operational efficiency to remain competitive. We've won some great new clients and specifically in the public sector.

What annoys you most about your commute?

The M25! Oh, and drivers who sit in the middle lane.

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

The first man on the moon. It was such an incredible achievement, 50 years ago, yet we remain fascinated by this astronomical object.

How do you explain the channel to people?

There are vendors: they make the product, hardware. Distributors: they distribute the product, hardware; and resellers provide their products and services to end users.

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

My all-time favourite partner conference destination is London; there is so much choice and always options of fun things to combine with the event!

My least favourite is the West Midlands - the venues are often too large and soulless and it's hard to produce a great atmosphere.

What is the biggest challenge facing the channel in 2020?

Continued downward pressure on margins. Therefore, we must drive operational excellence and efficiency to maintain margins and look for new ways to drive efficiencies, specifically with service delivery.

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