Managing director, Bridgeway Security Solutions
What was your dream career as a child?
To be a pilot. I wanted to join the RAF and become a Sea Harrier pilot, but I was unfortunately too tall. However, 13 years ago I studied for my glider and power pilot's licence and now fly as often as I can.
What has been your personal highlight of 2019?
I'm very proud of my son achieving a First following his first year of studying Business Management at the University of Sheffield. I'm also chuffed that I took part in my first ever gliding competition at our club and won! It was the first time I'd tried flying competitively and I hadn't previously realised how much fun it could be.
Which famous person deserves a (gentle) slap?
Does it have to be gentle? Bill Gates for having the opportunity to vastly improve the interoperability, security and scalability of the Microsoft products and services but instead choosing to make them proprietary.
What two things (apart from family) would you grab if your house was on fire?
My phone to call the fire brigade and my rucksack that contains my laptop, iPad and passport! I suppose the common answer would be items that used to be irreplaceable, like photographs, but nowadays so many are stored in the cloud.
Which of your 2019 predictions have come to pass?
The exponential rise in security threats rising disproportionately faster than the investment in information security. Plus, the foreign exchange uncertainty caused by Brexit and associated delays. I wish I'd be wrong on both counts.
What TV show have you binge watched this year?
The crime series La Casa De Papel (Money Heist). Rather than robbing a bank, they rob the Spanish equivalent of the Royal Mint and the nice twist isn't that they're stealing a small amount of ready printed cash, but they're printing loads of their own.
How has 2019 been from a business perspective?
2019 is an inflection point for Bridgeway. We have grown to become a medium-sized organisation and it feels like we have grown up. I'm pleased with how well our new recruits are doing, we've attained ISO 27001 and 9001 accreditation and we've introduced a number of managed services that are being well received by prospects and customers alike.
What annoys you most about your commute?
The A14 roadworks. It should be a short commute but almost every day there are new bridges, slip-roads, relief roads, roundabouts, all appearing with seemingly little rhyme nor reason. And poor signage seemingly designed to utterly confuse the unwary.
If you could witness one past event, what would it be?
It would be something momentous such as the Battle of Britain, the signing of the Magna Carta or the first atomic bomb test to see whether those involved at the time really felt the huge significance of the event. Or perhaps when they invented the television and for the first time saw the flickering images show up on the screen.
How do you explain the channel to people?
It's a stretch of water between England and France.
What have been your favourite and least favourite partner conference destinations?
Helsinki for both favourite and least favourite. In the spring and summer, it's colourful and full of life, everyone is so happy radiating warmth and friendship and it can be surprisingly hot in the summer.
Unfortunately, in the dead of winter it can be cold, dark and miserable. Everyone is very down and blue, in more ways than one, and it seems like a completely different country. However, I still have a soft spot for the Finnish people and Finland itself.
What is the biggest challenge facing the channel in 2020?
How to maintain relevance with the customer base, especially with the move to simpler self-managed cloud services and easier integration. A lot of the channel rely hugely on integration services and/or reselling licences, and if they're not needed, or are being sold online directly by the vendors, the relevance of the channel is greatly diminished. There is still a role for the channel in the future but it's a very different one to what we've seen in the past.
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