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Five Minute Interview: Pete Hannah, NETGEAR

In the last Five Minute Interview of 2015, MicroScope catches up with Peter Hannah, regional director at NETGEAR

Tell us what you do for a living

Hi. I’m Pete Hannah, and I’m regional director at NETGEAR.
Why are you the right person for this job?
With an entrepreneurial background (I opened up my own nightclub), I enjoy exercising this same flair at NETGEAR within a corporate environment. Having direct experience working in the channel definitely helps. I’ve previously worked at vendors, distributors and resellers so I’ve got a good understanding of how it works and what the channel really needs.  After starting a career in IT at Computer 2000 (I was at a couple of companies before this), I worked with the likes of Concert and BT. It’s this rounded background that means I can now confidently work with my team on strategic direction and growth of the company, whether that’s by increasing customer numbers, enhancing products or solutions, or exploring new opportunities in key markets.
What gets you up in the morning?
Either the radio alarm clock or my daughter, whichever one decides to make the most noise at the earliest time.
Who helped you get to where you are today?
I’ve been very lucky to have had a couple of great managers over the last 15 years that have given me opportunities to progress and pushed me to develop, when I didn’t think I had the skills or experience to take those next steps.
What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?
My physics teacher in High School convinced me that the electronics industry was the future. I wanted to be an architect, but I guess that the revolutionary advances in technology demonstrated that 30 years ago, he was right.
What advice would you give to someone starting out today in IT?
We have a team of graduate sales people in NETGEAR. My advice to them is always to work hard, and the rewards will come easier. Don’t wait for instruction; take the lead and innovate and you’ll get deserved recognition.
Will Windows 10 be the new Windows 7, or the new Vista?
At some point corporate organisations will surely start migrating away from Windows 7.
What does the next five years hold for the channel?
As online sales continue to grow, I expect the next five years to result in increased pressure on the channel where new business models will need to be identified and adapted.  This evolution will enable the channel to grow profitably.
Offering managed and private cloud services in conjunction with vendors will be the future and as such will allow the channel to compete on not just price but also the whole end-user experience.  An interesting development that I look forward to watching unfold.
Tell us something most people do not know about you
I’m a registered licensee, so I am available to sell alcohol at IT related events.
What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why?
I want to go to Machu Picchu. It’s an incredible citadel, set so high in the mountains and looks so serene. Apart from the tourists, obviously.
What is the best book you've ever read?
I first read the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in my early teens, and have read it a number of times since. Its comedy is second-to-none and every time I read it I still laugh out loud.
And the worst film you’ve ever seen?
I stumbled across a “Sharknado” night on TV recently. There are three movies in the series - I couldn’t honestly pick the worst one. However, I did watch all three, so clearly they were addictive in their awfulness.
What would be your Desert Island MP3s?
Massive Attack “Unfinished Sympathy”
Maceo Parker & the Flames “Tighten Up”
John Legend “Ordinary People”
Stevie Wonder “Living for the City”
Prince, “Sign o’ the Times”
What temptation can you not resist?
Anything advertised as containing salted caramel. It’s the future.
What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now?
My first car was a Fiat Panda. Approximately 1000cc of squareness. My current car is much more family friendly, but quicker and more comfortable for longer journeys.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? Why, what did they do?
Probably myself, to be honest. There’d be nothing new to discuss. Although it might give me the opportunity to catch up on some sleep.
If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?
A fly, on the wall of somewhere interesting. FIFA head office, perhaps.
If you were facing awesome peril and impossible odds, which real or fictional person would you most want on your side and why?
There’s a guy who used to work for me a few years ago called James Ketchell. He’s rowed across the Atlantic, climbed Everest and cycled round the world, all for charity. He’s been in a quite a few hairy situations, so his experience would be very useful.
And finally, a grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla are getting ready for a no-holds-barred rumble. Who is your money on and why?
The silverback. I think ‘rage’ mode trumps big claws.

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