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Five minute interview: Alex Walsh, Manager of Channels UK&I at Veeam

The recently appointed UK channel chief at Veeam shares his thoughts on his favourite band and the movie he wish he hadn't seen

Hello Alex, tell us what you do for a living.
I manage the Channel business for the UKI Region at Veeam Software.

Why are you the right person for this job?
I’ve been working with our Partners and distributors for years and have been able to listen to what it is that they want from a Vendor partnership. Now I’m able to make some of the minor changes that they need in order for us to grow together and address our joint customers needs.

What gets you up in the morning?
Usually my dog needing to be let out, but aside from that I enjoy challenging myself every day, be that with a particular task in work or trying to beat my best time out running in the woods near my house.

Who helped you get to where you are today?
There have been a lot of people that have helped me to get to where I am today but none more so than my parents and my friends, making sure that I keep my head on straight.

What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?
It’s a phrase so commonly used that I can’t say anyone in particular (that I know) coined the phrase but “people buy from people” couldn’t be more true than in the channel, where the relationships that you make with partners lasts years no matter which company you work for.

What advice would you give to someone starting out today in IT?
Learn as much as you can and never be afraid to ask for help.

Is it possible to get through an industry conversation without mentioning ‘digital transformation’?
That depends on who you are speaking with but it’s certainly a key topic at the moment and is a regular conversation that I have with our partners.

What does the next five years hold for the channel?
Partners are constantly evolving in the way that they provide a service to their customers and so the traditional VAR’s will continue to move towards a more hybrid approach, providing XaaS offerings to their customers by standing up their own platforms or white labelling other service providers when they are not able to do it themselves. Automation and flexibility also seem to be playing a key part in
the way that resellers and distributors want to interact with vendors and each other and so I think that we will see more partners looking at online stores as a way for them to provide flexibility in purchasing for their customers.

Tell us something most people do not know about you
For my birthday a few years ago, my fiancé bought me a skydive and there’s a video out there somewhere that shows how terrified I was…I’m still not sure if she was trying to get rid of me!

What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why?
I’d love to see my favourite band City and Colour live as I’ve managed to miss them every time that they have played in the UK!

What is the best book you've ever read?
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harrari.

And the worst film you’ve ever seen?
Date Movie.

What would be your Desert Island MP3s?
City and Colour – LIVE
Alexisonfire – Crisis
Fall Out Boy – From Under the Cork Tree

What temptation can you not resist?
Watching terrible movies on a Sunday afternoon.

What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now?
A white Rover 200 and given that it was actually two halves of two cars stuck together with a dodgy chassis, I’d say I’m much happier (and safer) now.

If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?
A spider monkey, swinging around trees in the jungle for the day would be awesome!

If you were facing awesome peril and impossible odds, which real or fictional person would you most want on your side and why?
Batman, every time. He beat Superman and would be able to get you out of any situation.

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?
I’m saying a grizzly bear, they look insane in fights if The Revenant is anything to go by!

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