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Five Minute Interview: Andrew Jackson, Intercity Technology

MicroScope puts its - often nonsensical - questions to Andrew Jackson, CEO of communication and information technology specialist Intercity Technology

Tell us what you do for a living?

I am the CEO at Intercity Technology, a communications and information technology provider. My job is to set the company’s strategy, look for complementary acquisitions and ensure we continue to grow, while maintaining a culture that’s focused on innovation and togetherness.

Why are you the right person for this job?

I have always enjoyed technology and take pride in my ‘smart’ home, and having the latest gadgets. My background is in mergers and acquisitions which has really helped in executing our current strategy. I’m ambitious too and that drives me make Intercity a success.

What gets you up in the morning?

We work in an industry that is changing all the time which always keeps things interesting. I love the challenge of growing a business and everything that involves – from getting staff to buy into a vision to acquiring and integrating new companies.

Also, I’m naturally competitive, whether it’s a game of Monopoly or a new business deal, I always want to win.

Who helped you get to where you are today?

Nick Woodward, a partner at Ernst & Young. He was my mentor and he taught me about the importance of getting the best out of people. It’s all about taking an interest.

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

The best was to always try and keep it simple. Top businesses have clarity and are clear in what they do, which is particularly important in the industry we operate in. I am also a big fan of Dr Steve Peters who wrote the Chimp Paradox. We have to trust our gut instincts. The worst was to tell people what to do. It’s much more important to inspire them to get a job done.

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

Keep your focus on the customer not the technology. The end user is key, so always bear in mind how the solution is going to benefit the customer.

What does the next five years hold for the channel?

The channel has notoriously been about one product from one provider, but now the channel is all about providing a whole portfolio of services. Recognising customer service is highly important – Amazon is a great example of this with the use of automation and self-service tools.

Tell us something most people do not know about you

I am passionate about motorsport and hold an International Competition Licence, and I competed in the British Ford Championship the year after Jenson Button.

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

Travel the world, enjoy different experiences and different cultures. I would love to have a point in my life where I can travel the world, however, this is a little difficult at present with children!

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

My first car was BMW 3 series. I’m a lover of BMWs and the level of technology they now hold.

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

Richard Branson. If you’ve read anything about his hot air balloon adventures you’ll know why.

A grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla are getting ready for a no-holds-barred rumble. Who is your money on and why?

The gorilla because it’s more agile.

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