What’s currently having the greatest impact on your business?
Realisation of value. Cloud services act on a 30-day value realisation; if you can’t demonstrate value within 30 days the customer will end the service and replace it with a competitor’s product. We are constantly educating and working with our vendors to demonstrate real-time service value – improving collaboration, security and productivity and ensuring that the customer needs to retain their services.
Where do you see the next big opportunity?
The next great business opportunity is very much in the space intY occupies now. The opportunity to use services enabled by technology makes it possible for all types of business to go big. For example, a smaller client was undergoing an upgrade and assumed it would involve several days downtime, but in fact they were up and running inside an hour thanks to the flexibility of the cloud. The technology is here and now and there’s still a big opportunity to take advantage of it. In addition, the need for security will continue to increase, so mobility can grow at the rate required.
What would make your day job easier?
In the space of three weeks, I will have taken 14 flights to different meetings in America, Europe and UAE. I do this because face-to-face conversations are very powerful. Augmented reality could eventually improve non-face-to-face engagement, but until then, I’ll continue travelling to meet people face-to-face. For the time being, the ability to time travel or a teleporter would make my work life a lot easier!
What’s the best bit of business advice you’ve been given?
Think big, deliver bigger. My skillset is taking a company and making it scalable to dominate the market. As the third largest Cloud-only distributor globally, our market position is strong. Also, don’t forget the small stuff. Remember what gets you to the position you’re in, which comes back to the people. If someone says you can’t do something, ignore them. Dream it and exceed that vision. With that mindset and mentality, literally anything is possible.
If you had had a crystal ball, would you have done anything differently?
I would have actioned some of our long-term plans much quicker – having confidence in my convictions and expanding faster, both in revenue and geography.
Describe your most embarrassing moment.
At last year’s Christmas party, I was giving a speech. I had a dry mouth and needed a quick sip of wine. I couldn’t find my glass, so just picked up a bottle and, thinking no one was watching, took a swig. There were cheers of ‘down it’, so I did… in 30 seconds. After that, someone challenged me to do it again, so I picked up a full bottle of red and finished that in less than half a minute. I then gave what I recall as being a good speech. But 40 minutes later I was outside feeling very unwell!
What was your first job?
I worked at Lloyds of London as a re-insurance broker.
What would be your dream job?
I love the job I have today: dominating the market we play in gives me huge satisfaction; striving to be Number 1 drives me every day in everything I do; getting to play in a billion dollar market and revolutionising how the game is played makes me happy.
Money’s not an issue, what’s your perfect car…and where would you like to drive it?
That’s a tricky question. It would be a choice between a Koenigsegg one:1, driving through Bordeaux, or a 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing, driving around Lake Como.
Fine dining and good wine, or curry and a pint?
I’m happy with either – the company you’re with is what matters. I recently ate English fish and chips on a Somerset hilltop drinking fine champagne and watching the sunset – the perfect romantic meal!
Favourite holiday destination?
Given my recent airmiles, anywhere you don’t have to fly!
With the kids, it would have to be the USA. There’s so much on offer: you can escape to the ‘wilderness’; go to Vegas; drive to Palm Springs; drive to the beach in LA. There’s everything there you could possibly want.
Without the kids, I’d choose Napa Valley in California. There’s a vineyard with private cottages dotted throughout the estate. You can take bikes and cycle to other vineyards to taste wine and cheese – idyllic, romantic, peaceful and secluded.
How do you like to spend your spare time?
Chilling out with loved ones and family. With such a fast-paced job, being around people who are happy and smiling and relaxed makes such a difference.