Managing director, Boost Technology Group
What was your dream career as a child?
Like the rest of the world, I had eyes on being an astronaut - that and running my own company.
One of those came true as when I was 20 I set up my first company - a mobile disco company while at university. "Dreams, the mobile disco for every occasion" was born. My biggest tip was from a deaf family.
What has been your personal highlight of 2019?
Getting fit again! I sleepwalked into fatness during my early forties.
Which famous person deserves a (gentle) slap?
Where to start? Are all politicians classified as famous?
What two things (apart from family) would you grab if your house was on fire?
Car keys and my contact lenses.
Which of your 2019 predictions have come to pass?
That's easy: this time last year I said selling into the whitespace presented the biggest untapped opportunity for most VARs and MSPs - the same is true today. Most invest too much time and money chasing the next new logo instead of deep mining their existing ones.
What TV show have you binge watched this year?
Game of Thrones and Bake Off. I like dragons and cake!
How has 2019 been from a business perspective?
A bit of a rollercoaster sandwich. The summer filling didn't taste too good but the start and end are making up for it. The industry seemed to take the summer off and delay decisions until September so we are now in the "can we have it yesterday?" phase - with extra cheese.
What annoys you most about your commute?
I can't get a double-mocha whatsitsface coffee at my house. All my team work from home so when I am at home - which is rare - the commute is pretty awesome.
If you could witness one past event, what would it be?
The first moon landing - that must have been pretty epic.
How do you explain the channel to people?
Blatant plug warning: We have developed a video explaining that. It's part of a training module we sell and deliver as part of our brand-new "Early Careers Programme" that has been designed specifically to help all new VAR, MSP and tech salespeople understand the IT industry so they are able to be more relevant and successful faster.
In a nutshell, however, it's the supply chain that connects the IT industry.
What have been your favourite and least favourite partner conference destinations?
My favourite by far was when Microsoft held Inspire (then WWPC) in New Orleans - that rocked. They even hired Duran Duran before they went back on tour.
I can't think of a least favourite.
What is the biggest challenge facing the channel in 2020?
How to generate a materially more margin-rich proposition and operating model.
I see an ever-increasing number of JARs (Just Another Reseller) and they are struggling to make sustainable margins. The answers are all out there and include selling more things on a lease (or as-a-service), selling more annuity solutions (for example, air time), and selling more niche high-margin ISV solutions and so on - all of which we can help with! You're welcome.
HPE merged its sales divisions in the UK last year
David Meads takes over from Scot Gardner
Sarah Shields to become channel chief for Austria, Switzerland and the Nordics
Red Hat CEO James Whitehurst has also been appointed company's president
Dell and Dell EMC president roles merged
Justin Sutton-Parker tells CRN about the competitive advantage that having a green agenda gives partners
Former Cisco channel boss and Riverbed CEO says Pure can’t give away margin to ‘non-performers’ as he hints at changes to incentives
'I'm interested to see how they become relevant again, rather than three letters associated with security' - Channel reacts to Dell offloading RSA
RSA sold to private equity for just over $2bn