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Five-minute interview: Simon Godfrey, Secureworks

The latest to share some personal insights is the sales and partner go-to-market lead across Europe at Secureworks

Tell us a bit about what you do for a living

I lead sales and our partner go to market across Europe for Secureworks.

Why are you the right person for this job?

I have the experience to understand the nuances of our European regions and how to work best with our strategic partners and customers no matter where they are located. I’ve always worked within security technologies and solutions, giving me a deep understanding of the market and the challenges organisations face. And importantly, I have worked with channel partners, who are crucial in enabling us scale. The most interesting shift I’ve seen is the move from highly customised, largely passive security information and event management (SIEM) and monitoring solutions with limited focus on threat detection to packaged software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions focused on delivering better security outcomes, with fast responses.

What gets you up in the morning?

I have always been a self-starter. I’m driven by helping to support our customers achieve things they would not be able to without Secureworks. It’s also important to me to be able to support my family and open up opportunities for them as well.

Who helped you get to where you are today?

I have worked with a number of highly skilled team members, managers and business owners over the years. Each of them had different styles, motivations and approaches, but all these experiences have helped me develop into the business leader I am today – and I am still learning every day.

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

The best advice I’ve been given was to be sensitive – to the individual or situation – and to always remain professional. Set clear expectations with people of what you expect and what they can expect from you. Be direct but with empathy.

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

The best advice I would offer someone starting out today is to get into a company that will invest in you. It’s crucial to develop additional skills and competencies as you grow into a role. The best organisations also offer movement within the organisation to experience different areas of the business so that you can find the best role for you, which might not be the one you thought it would be when you started.

“I’m driven by helping to support our customers achieve things they would not be able to without Secureworks”

Simon Godfrey, Secureworks

What does the next five years hold for the channel?

Vendors that want to grow are embracing the opportunity and the scale the channel offers. And businesses that are struggling to plug the technology skills gap stand to gain significant benefits from working with great partners. As we see technology continue to grow and develop, the role of the channel in bringing the benefits of new technologies to customers will continue to be critical.

Tell us something most people do not know about you –

I hold a couple of “King of the Mountain” all-time and outright records on Strava for cycling – downhill, not uphill, I might add.

Did you learn anything new – guitar, painting, etc – during the pandemic?

I spent a lot of time cycling during the pandemic. It encompasses fitness, space to think and amazing countryside landscapes to visit.

What would be your Desert Island MP3s?

I love a wide variety of music, so a mixture of calm and heavier sounds would be on the MP3. It would definitely contain:

  • The World is My Oyster by Frankie Goes to Hollywood – epic and theatrical, not what you would expect.
  • Wasting Light by Foo Fighters – what an album.
  • Love over Gold by Dire Straits – timeless.

What temptation can you not resist?

I love food and drink, but I cannot resist a BBQ: peppers, stuffed with chorizo, chilli, blue cheese, fresh herbs, plus a well-seasoned steak – with a drop of Rioja.

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

My first car was a 1971 Hillman Imp. I went through three engines and two gearboxes before it eventually went off to the scrapyard. It was an amazing car. And it does not compare to what I drive today.

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

An eagle, so I could soar in the sky.

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