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Five-minute interview: Remco Postma, Tufin

Remco Postma, director, channel sales EMEA at Tufin, takes the questions and reveals what gets him up in the morning and shares his ice-skating credentials

Tell us what you do for a living

I am director, channel sales EMEA at security policy company Tufin. We enable organisations to automate their security policy visibility, risk management, provisioning and compliance across their multi-vendor, hybrid environment. My aim is to grow the business through our valuable partner community.

Why are you the right person for this job?

I believe my all-round insight and sense of perspective about channel matters adds a lot of value. In my time, I’ve worked for vendors, partners and alliance groups. My experience with all these different elements allows me to see things from other people’s point of view. Having stood in others’ shoes, I know what is most important to them, whether that is fixing a problem, selling a solution or something else. This knowledge is invaluable to making progress quickly.

What gets you up in the morning?

Wanting us to be the best organisation to partner with and helping to grow the business. I’m always working on ways for us to improve what we do and how we can enable our partners to do more, so we can all benefit. It’s about building the right partner culture, such as making sure the channel programme rewards those partners that do things in the right way.

I like to start the day with a coffee and focus on how we can continue to develop the team around me. Ensuring that we have the right people and keeping them on track is a key motivator.

Who helped you get to where you are today?

I can think of a few people – family and former colleagues – who have helped me get where I am today.

My parents were bakers and I think this gave me a taste of the entrepreneurial spirit right from the off. I took over running the business while my parents were away.  I learned an awful lot about hard work and customer service while still at a relatively young age.

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

A good piece of advice comes from Jacqueline de Rochas, CBE, president of Tech UK and chair, Digital Leaders, who said: “Hope is not a strategy.” There is also the old adage: “Winners make it happen; losers let it happen.” These are both basically saying that you are in control of what happens to your business – you can’t leave it to chance.

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

Get stuck in. When I started, I had no idea that I’d be in this role. Do what interests you and find someone who can be your mentor.

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

No. Full stop. Next question.

“I think we’ll see consolidation in the channel, both international and national”

Remco Postma, Tufin

What does the next five years hold for the channel?

We will see more businesses wanting to move over to the cloud as they undertake digital transformation. This move is currently proving difficult for some vendors as their business model is having to transition from providing hardware to offering a service. The service provider model means incomes can fluctuate and are less certain than if a business simply sells hardware with a support package.

I think we’ll also see consolidation in the channel, both international and national. The time is coming when the service provider market is dominated by large conglomerates capable of serving customers anywhere in the world.

Tell us something most people do not know about you

I once did a 60-mile ice-skating tour through 16 villages in a day on the frozen canals in the Netherlands. As a nation, we are very keen on skating. My cousin’s daughter just became world speed skating champion in juniors. She also won the team sprint event, where they broke the world record.

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

Swim with orcas, because it fascinates me and for the sheer buzz.

What is the best book you’ve ever read?

Legacy about the All Blacks by James Kerr. I’m a sports fan in general and I love rugby. The All Blacks have a legendary reputation that transcends all sport.

And the worst film you’ve ever seen?

The Lego Movie.

What would be your Desert Island MP3s?

These days, my playlist is on Spotify. But there would be Dutch music, such as De Dijk. Also, Springsteen, Foo Fighters, Bryan Ferry and Jack Johnson.

What temptation can you not resist?

Gin and tonic.

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

It was a company car, a Vauxhall Vectra – enough said. I now drive a BMW x5, which I much prefer.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? Why, what did they do?

Hannibal Lecter for obvious reasons.

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

An orca. Perhaps because, like me, they are team players. I would love to experience what it is like to be one of the smartest, strongest and most agile creatures in the ocean.

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

Thor, because he is able to get out of any situation easily.

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?

The silverback – I would expect their strength and versatility to give them the edge. 

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