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Five-minute interview: Jose Pena, Digital.ai

Jose Pena of Digital.ai shares his insight and experiences surrounding the channel in this latest five-minute interview

Morning, Jose, tell us what you do for a living.

My name is Jose Pena, and I am vice-president of worldwide channels and alliances at Digital.ai.

I help customers and partners to embrace business challenges with the use of IT. I also help our partners expand their business by finding an end-to-end value stream solution that, by extension, helps their clients create digital experiences that provides value for their end-users. 

Why are you the right person for this job?  

I have more than 25 years of global sales and business experience serving clients and partners around the world. I also have the contacts and skills set needed to be successful in this industry, as well as a fascination for innovation. 

What gets you up in the morning?  

I like creating and thinking of strategies that will generate new business for the company. This is a competitive industry, so innovative ideas on how to create new business is essential, and I find that part of my job very exciting and very rewarding. 

Who helped you get to where you are today? 

I have had various personal mentors that have guided and advised me along my journey. My family have also been instrumental in helping me get to the position I am in today. 

What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?  

The best advice I have received is, ‘Find mutual interest in every relationship’. And the worst advice has to be, ‘Don’t consider cultural differences when building a partnership or during a negotiation’.

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

You need to educate yourself, analyse multiple options and work on return on investment. 

Is it possible to get through an industry conversation without mentioning ‘digital transformation’? 

This can happen, but I’m increasingly finding it is becoming rarer. 

Jose Pena

 “This is a competitive industry, so innovative ideas on how to create new business is essential, and I find that part of my job very exciting and very rewarding”

Jose Pena, Digital.ai

What does the next five years hold for the channel?  

We will see more and more channel partners becoming digital transformation agents and having to help clients during this journey. We can also expect them to spend more time in innovation than infrastructure. 

Tell us something most people do not know about you.

I like to play guitar in my spare time. 

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

I want to get my sons on track to be happy and successful in life. 

What is the best book you’ve ever read? 

The True Thinkers of our Time by Guy Sorman. 

And the worst film you’ve ever seen?  

Wild Wild West

What would be your Desert Island MP3s?  

I would have a variety – Don’t stop believing by Journey, and more generally there’s Venezuelan music, Andrea Bocelli, heavy metal, jazz, Blues, and bossa nova. 

What temptation can you not resist?  

Chocolate and red wine.

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

My first car was a Starlet Toyota. It was smaller and more basic than my Audi A4, which I drive now. 

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

I would be a dog because they always have fun, and their mission in life is to be loyal and protect their owners. 

If you were facing awesome peril and impossible odds, which real or fictional person would you most want on your side and why?  

I would want Gandhi because he would help me to become calm, analyse the situation and select the best course of action to be in peace. 

Read more five-minute interviews from MicroScope

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