Brian Jackson - stock.adobe.com
Morning, Dominic, tell us what you do for a living.
Hi, I am Cisco UK & Ireland’s managing director for our partner organisation.
Why are you the right person for this job?
I think it’s better to ask other people whether I am the right person for this job.
What gets you up in the morning?
Apart from a double espresso, and usually a run or quick session on my Wattbike, it would be not knowing what’s coming at me, as each day brings loads of new experiences.
Who helped you get to where you are today?
I have been lucky enough to work with a lot of brilliant people, who have acted both informally and formally as mentors. Many amazing leaders and colleagues have all helped me in their own way.
What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?
Someone once told me the best thing you could do is act as if you are doing the job you want and not the job you have. When you know where you want to go next, acting as if you were doing it gives you a real start.
What advice would you give to someone starting out today in IT?
This world changes so fast that you have to be open to new approaches and processes disrupting old ways. IT is such a broad umbrella term and, at some point in time, you might need to branch out into a new area of IT, because the one you were invested in becomes less relevant or less successful. You can’t allow yourself to be too dogmatic, whether you are an engineer or in IT sales.
Is it possible to get through an industry conversation without mentioning ‘digital transformation’?
The short answer is yes. I have lots of conversations on the ground with industry peers that have nothing to do with “digital transformation” or other buzzwords. It is possible – and common – not to mention it. But the reality is that everything that we talk about is in some way innately linked to digital transformation.
What do the next five years hold for the channel?
The channel will go through intense transformation. A lot of the emerging trends we are seeing today will continue to play a predominant role in the next five years. I anticipate the industry will continue with the shift in routes to market, acceleration in managed services, hyper-scale marketplace engagement, and focus on the lifecycle of deployments. It will also continue to invest in enabling partners to establish good practices and grow their software and services business, and embed security everywhere.
We will also see an increased focus on sustainability, sovereignty and talent. It is important, too, to link our broader purpose as a company to our daily business activities, whether it is in our interactions with vendors or partners. Failing to do that is a missed opportunity, not just for our business, but for the communities we work in.
Tell us something most people do not know about you.
I used to do Irish dancing – badly.
Have you learnt anything new – guitar, painting, etc – during the pandemic?
I did loads of what I already enjoyed doing – but at home. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to learn anything new.
What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why?
Running a three-hour marathon, but I suspect it’s too late.
What is the best book you've ever read?
Lots to choose from, but I’d say All Quiet on the Western Front – it had the biggest impact on me.
And the worst film you’ve ever seen?
The Bridges of Madison County: I remember leaving the cinema after 15 minutes thinking: “This is the most boring movie I’ve ever seen.”
What would be your Desert Island MP3s?
I Am the Resurrection by the Stone Roses.
What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now?
The first car I bought was a Volkswagen Polo Ranger – it was cheaper to run than my current car.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? Why, what did they do?
Grotbags, the witch from the 1990s show Emu’s World. She scared me when I was a kid.
If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?
After watching Frozen Planet II, I know that I don’t want to be a seal.
If you were facing awesome peril and impossible odds, which real or fictional person would you most want on your side and why?
Eric Cantona. If you ever watched him play, you’ll know why.
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 couldn’t decide, so I Googled it. Believe it or not, there are loads of websites that answer this question. Apparently, the grizzly has the weight, speed and aggression, but the silverback has reach and bigger muscles. I’m going grizzly, by one round.