Five Minute Interview: Will O'Brien, Oracle

We meet Will O'Brien, vice president and sales leader for the Oracle UK Alliance & Channels team

Tell us what you do for a living.

My role is vice president and sales leader for the Oracle UK Alliance & Channels team.  This involves working closely with value added resellers and distributors, and developing and deepening our long standing relationships with the key systems integrators in the UK economy.

Why are you the right person for the job?

I have worked in the IT industry for 27 years in direct sales and sales management capacity in application software and in providing complex hardware solutions across most of the key business sectors.

During this period I have worked for three tier one companies as well as working for two mid-tier VAR organisations, where I provided turnkey business solutions for the end customer. As such I am well aware of the challenges facing our business partners from a reseller and SI perspective and hope I can provide sound advice to our partners.

During the last five years I have worked extensively across Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and India and hope that this experience will also be valuable to those partners seeking to expand their international operations.

What gets you up in the morning?

I get up to make a difference to the people in my team, to our end customers, and to our business partners. Being easy to do business drives more business and this is an approach I strive to foster in my commercial approach at all times.  

What advice would you give to someone starting out in IT today?

Take a long term approach and learn from each employer and build a portfolio of experiences. Never burn a bridge and act with integrity as IT is a small industry and people have long memories.

What’s running on your smartphone?

My Fitness Pal, eBay, Amazon, Evernote, Kindle, and the usual suspects.

What does the next five years hold for the channel?

The next five years will be typified by significant technology shifts, changing business models and commercial practices. Technology and innovation will continue to grow at an increasing rate and the channel landscape will change significantly with winners and losers.

What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why?

Learn three languages, because we work in a global economy

What is the best book you’ve read?

Too many to list!

And the worst film you have seen?

Mamma Mia.

What temptation can you not resist?


If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?

I’d be an eagle, so that I can fly anywhere and eat what I want!

What was your first car? How does it compare with what you drive now?

Hillman Imp and I now drive a Mercedes SL500.

If you could take part in one event at the Olympics, which would you choose and why?

Cycling, as I have been riding road bikes and mountain bikes for 20 years, week in week out, rain or shine.

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