Andrew Allen

clock • 2 min read

What has been your personal highlight of 2020?

At the risk of sounding like a cliché, it would be my team. Although we are a tech company, we are a people business. Witnessing how the team have supported our clients, each other and me has been a source of great inspiration.

Which three celebrities would you invite to a Zoom party?

Tom Hanks, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Warren Buffett.

What has been your guiltiest lockdown pleasure?

I have used fitness as a positive distraction, so it would have to be the several new pairs of trainers for different types of running. Even writing this makes me cringe - I think I need to get out more!

Which tech figurehead has inspired you most this year, and why?

Satya Nadella and Microsoft had the scale and resources to make a significant impact and I believe they have done so. They dedicated significant resources and offered help to organisations, charities and individuals around the world, without profiting from it. It shows a socially responsible attitude to business; a great partner for us.

What piece of technology, or app, have you not been able to do without during the pandemic?

Microsoft Teams has allowed us to have face-to-face meetings internally and externally and with so many adopting this method of communication almost overnight, it has become the norm. Although it will never replace in-person meetings - the opportunity to see what isn't said - it has helped significantly in coping with the pandemic.

If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be and what would you do?

I'd have to pick an astronaut, in order to undergo the adrenaline rush of take-off and landing, the experience of zero gravity and to view the world in a way that few have. What a week!

Do you miss face-to-face events?

I do, for a couple of reasons. I feel like I am suffering with fatigue of online events; staring at the screen all day is not the best way to learn. The other disadvantage is the peer networking - I find this to be one of the greatest benefits of in-person events.

How will COVID leave its mark on the way the channel operates long term?

I'm confident that we'll find a way back to our normal way of life at some point, but the revolution of flexible working and videoconferencing on a global scale is here to stay. There are many benefits that have been thrust upon us, and our job is to create structure and balance.

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