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Five minute interview: Peter Baxter, Yellowfin

We find out a bit more about Peter Baxter from business intelligence player Yellowfin

MicroScope puts its questions to Peter Baxter, managing director EMEA at Yellowfin.

Tell us what you do for a living

I am the managing director for global business intelligence and analytics software vendor Yellowfin. In this role I am responsible for all aspects of the business across the EMEA region.

Why are you the right person for this job?

Building business rather than managing business has always been a strength of mine and I love the ability to be creative and disruptive. In particular, BI is an extremely exciting vertical with a good mix of the old behemoths as well as the young guns, so I feel that it’s an ideal place for me to be. 

What gets you up in the morning?

My two dogs and the smell of very strong good coffee. Once the coffee has been consumed and the dogs walked, I can then focus on another exciting day in a great industry.

Who helped you get to where you are today?

My stepfather, Max. He is an incredible guy and a massive influence in my life. He started life in a tough east end area and had to self fund his later education by working on garbage trucks and at sewage plants. He achieved a first class honours degree in applied maths and went on to become an incredible scientist.

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

The worst advice has to be reading self-help books. Sorry, but I can’t stand them!

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

The IT industry is one that has excited me for 25 years. It is so diverse and is guaranteed to deliver plenty of ups and downs. So I would say, pick a sector - hopefully a progressive one - and become a subject matter expert. Also, build up your reserves of resilience, listen a lot, and work smarter than everyone else. 

What does the next five years hold for the channel?

 There has been plenty of Mystic Megs predicting the death or demise of the channel for over 25 years now and it has never happened. I think that the next five years will hold more change than the last five years, but I am confident that the channel in the UK are among the smartest in the world and that they will continue to evolve and deliver greater value to customers than ever before.

Tell us something most people do not know about you

 I am a closet twitcher… Google it if you don’t know what that is!

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

 I would really like to run a marathon, but I think I may need to lay off the good life first.

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

 I was lucky enough to be given an old Austin complete with a beautiful old leather and walnut dashboard.

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

 My partner, Laura. She is the female equivalent of MacGyver! 

What is the best book you have ever read?

 It’s a toss-up between Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks and Six Suspects by Vikas Swarup.

What temptation can you not resist?

 A good red wine.

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 reckon it would be a draw as both are pretty lazy and would give up. One spends its day stealing picnics and the other lazes on the river plucking out the odd salmon!


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