John Harber

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John Harber

Managing director, Arrow Business Communications

What was your dream career as a child?

I wanted to be James Hunt.

What has been your personal highlight of 2019?

We have an in-house IT development team and we re-built and re-launched POD, our CRM and Customer Portal for Pulse, our energy broker. It can report on live energy consumption data and help people manage and reduce it. We have since had two customers roll it out to large numbers of employees and their energy consumption is now 7-10% lower than two years ago.

Which famous person deserves a (gentle) slap?

Most people with the letters MP after their name.

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

Nothing much to be honest, as long as my family are safe. Car keys and warm clothes?

Which of your 2019 predictions have come to pass?

England winning the Rugby World Cup (when are you printing this?).

What TV show have you binge watched this year?

I watched Ricky Gervais's After Life start to finish in two evenings. Heart-breaking and hilarious all at the same time.

How has 2019 been from a business perspective?

Fantastic. We bought seven companies during 2017 and 2018. 2019 was  a break from acquisitions to make sure we integrated them all properly. That's tough work but a great feeling when you come out the other end with even better performance and the feeling that we've built one, big, high-performing team.

What annoys you most about your commute?

My friends tell me off for moaning about trains on Twitter, so I really shouldn't start here. But honestly, South Western Railways!

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

I lived in Berlin for a couple of years in the early 2000s. I'd love to have been there on 9 November 1989 when the wall fell.

How do you explain the channel to people?

The channel is the magical step that brings technology to life. We take stuff out of boxes and give it a vital role within a company. Hardware doesn't add value. Solutions do. We build solutions.

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

I was lucky enough to work for Sony during its absolute glory years. Most Januarys were spent somewhere long haul with customers. Tokyo, Jamaica, Thailand, South Africa and many more.

And I've been to Telford.

What is the biggest challenge facing the channel in 2020?

Economic uncertainty for our customers will delay larger capital expenditure for many. Amortising Capex into monthly Opex-style charges will become more and more the norm for us, I expect.

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