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Five-minute interview: Toby Jones, WatchGuard

This time around, Toby Jones, senior marketing manager for Northern Europe at WatchGuard, takes on questions of what motivates him and about the future of the channel

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

My name is Toby Jones, and I am the senior field marketing manager for Northern Europe at WatchGuard Technologies.

Why are you the right person for this job?

One of the benefits of getting older is the experience gained along the way. I have been fortunate enough in my career to work with many inspirational leaders who I have learnt from, and I continue to try to implement this knowledge into my daily job.

What gets you up in the morning?

Apart from my noisy children, the opportunity to work with and collaborate with my colleagues across the globe. Learning new experiences from other regions keeps life interesting. Cyber security has an impact on everyone, so being involved in such a fast-paced and constantly evolving industry, with new emerging technologies, makes every day different.

Who helped you get to where you are today?

One of my first managers took a chance on a young graduate with little experience but with a willingness to learn. For that opportunity, I will always be grateful and appreciative that he saw someone who may not have had the skills at the time, but who had the work ethic to learn and develop for the future.

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

There is no rewind button in life, so enjoy it and live it to the full.

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

Listen as much as possible and learn from those around you. Technology moves very fast, but anything is possible. Just because something is not the norm now, doesn’t mean it won’t be in the future.

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

It is possible, but it certainly has been one of the key themes over the past few years. The term means different things to different people. Certainly, securing the digital transformation journey is important and, as with any technology change, security needs to be at the heart of any transformation.

Toby Jones

 “Listen as much as possible and learn from those around you. Technology moves very fast, but anything is possible. Just because something is not the norm now, doesn’t mean it won’t be in the future”

Toby Jones, WatchGuard

What do the next five years hold for the channel?

Opportunity. The market opportunity for the channel continues to evolve with the emergence of new consumption models and users further looking to channel partners to assist with the skills shortages to address IT and security challenges.

Tell us something most people do not know about you.

I went to the same school as the Batman actor Christian Bale.

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

To take my family on a tour of Japan. The recent Olympics in Japan really captured my children’s imagination and interest, so an extended tour of Japan is certainly on my bucket list.

What is the best book you’ve ever read?

The Damage Done by Warren Fellows. The book is such an honest, gritty portrayal of a real-life, harrowing experience.

And the worst film you’ve ever seen?

During lockdown, too many to mention.

What would be your Desert Island MP3s?

Massive Attack, LTJ Bukem and Oasis.

What temptation can you not resist?

A nice glass of pinot noir.

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

A really old Vauxhall Vectra – not pretty, but a nice little runner. Not much more exciting today as a family car put paid to the fun cars of a few years ago.

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

A leopard.

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

The Terminator.

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