Managing director, UK&I partner organisation, Cisco
What was your dream career as a child?
As a child I always wanted to be a pathologist. For those old enough to remember there was a TV series called Quincy that I loved. Unfortunately, my pathological fear of the sight of blood curtailed that potential career path!
What has been your personal highlight of 2019?
First and foremost, we've had a great year supported by our partner community.
The absolute highlight has been how we've come together in support of the homeless charity, Crisis UK. We've run a number of events alongside our partners that have raised funds and awareness for the plight of homeless people across the UK.
The response has been amazing. Most recently 100 people did a 25km Bridge Trek in London from which we hope to have raised over £30,000 - it was an amazing day and an amazing result. I would love to make this an annual event.
Which famous person deserves a (gentle) slap?
Famous probably isn't the word, but anyone who appears on Love Island. It's addictive TV, but their behaviour both during their stay and after leaves something to be desired!
What two things (apart from family) would you grab if your house was on fire?
That's a tough one. Irrational, perhaps, but probably my phone (who can live without their phone nowadays?) and my purse as I have some little pictures and mementos of my children in it.
Which of your 2019 predictions have come to pass?
I'm not sure I made any predictions as such, but no one could have predicted the level of political turmoil we seem to be facing right now. I wish I had a crystal ball to see where it all ends.
What TV show have you binge watched this year?
Peaky Blinders. I had tried to watch it once before but now I am officially hooked, even though the excessive smoking drives me mad.
How has 2019 been from a business perspective?
The political climate hasn't been ideal for any business in or working with the UK, but, with the support of our partners and customers, we finished very strongly.
What annoys you most about your commute?
Paying for a seat on a train but never getting one is very annoying.
If you could witness one past event, what would it be?
I would say the flight of the first aircraft. Still to this day, no matter how many times the physics are explained to me, it amazes me that we're able to get a big hunk of metal like that in the air. Seeing it for the first time must have been awesome.
How do you explain the channel to people?
I explained it to my cousin recently who has a nursing background. I talked about it in terms of the ecosystem around a buying event and who does what. She seemed to get it…
What have been your favourite and least favourite partner conference destinations?
My favourite is San Diego. We held our Partner Summit there a few years ago - lovely city and a great event.
Las Vegas is my least favourite. Having been there so many times it's become a bit overwhelming - same hotels, same bars and when we do our Sales Conference in August it's just too hot.
What is the biggest challenge facing the channel in 2020?
Two come to mind that are difficult to separate. Number one is the skills shortage faced across the IT industry. We need to identify and train people at a faster rate, but also look at talented people in other industries with different skills who we can teach the more technical stuff.
This challenge is exacerbated by the speed of change we are facing, not only in technology advancements but commercial structures around how customers want to buy.