What has been your personal highlight of 2020?
Without doubt, selling my majority shareholding and having August Equity as our outward investment partner to carry forward our dream of creating a national brand for IT and communications services.
Which three celebrities would you invite to a Zoom party?
Ritchie McCaw (sport).
Eddie Murphy (actor).
What has been your guiltiest lockdown pleasure?
Having complete downtime - I always felt guilty about not working but after a few months it felt great!
Which tech figurehead has inspired you most this year, and why?
My managing director, James Healey, now our COO. Throughout the sale process, James was nothing but outstanding. All the reports we had back from external DD were exemplary and both teams were complimentary about how he had performed.
I personally went through a difficult time. James took the lead and smashed it! Without him, I am convinced we would not have got the deal across the line. I owe a huge amount of gratitude to him.
What piece of technology, or app, have you not been able to do without during the pandemic?
It must be the Amazon app.
If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be and what would you do?
The president of the USA. On behalf of the Republican Party, I would like to have taken Trump's place in the debate - he was so bad, even I could have done a better job!
Do you miss face-to-face events?
Yes, I certainly do - you cannot beat face-to-face interaction.
How will COVID leave its mark on the way the channel operates long term?
I believe it will have a huge impact throughout our industry. In MSP world, how we operate has certainly already changed; ervicing the client base, the sales process and how we adapt to generate new sales through digital and social mediums will all need to evolve if MSPs are to survive.
The ability to adapt to change quickly will be critical - this is digital transformation now being forced upon us. In our industry, we have been speaking about it for years, and some have listened and transformed, others haven't! I believe the businesses that transformed early will come out stronger from this pandemic. The businesses that were slow to embrace digital transformation may get through, but it will be a struggle.
Finally, if we do have exit strategies in place which may involve buying and selling organically or through PE, then this will be impacted. Revisit your strategy and realign your expectations before you embark on the journey.
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