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Five Minute Interview: Simon Skellon, Mitel

In MicroScope's latest Five Minute Interview, we shoot the breeze with Simon Skellon, vice president of Mitel UK, Ireland & Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Simon Skellon, Vice President (country manager) for Mitel UK, Ireland and Sub-Saharan Africa

Why are you the right person for this job?

I’m very competitive and a perfectionist

What gets you up in the morning?

My alarm clock at 6am and a desire to succeed in a highly competitive market

Who helped you get to where you are today?

My mentor has been Graham Bevington (President Mitel Enterprise) but also my father who’s mantra was always ‘why not you?’

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

Two pieces of the best advice I’ve ever had: ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ and ‘strategy, structure, people… that order’

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

IT is complex today and blurring between applications is rife. Try to simplify IT and not tie yourself in knots with complexity

What does the next five years hold for the channel?

A huge amount of change but also a massive opportunity for those able to adapt quickly to the new world of cloud-based and mobile-first communications

Tell us something most people do not know about you

I am very claustrophobic and therefore hate getting into lifts, not great in my line of work

What is the best book you've ever read?

I’m a big Conn Iggulden fan and I love his Conqueror series about Genghis Khan. I like factional books

And the worst film you’ve ever seen?

Mission Impossible with Tom Cruise

What would be your Desert Island MP3s?

Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon or David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust

What temptation can you not resist?

Cheese, any type but the stronger and smellier the better, with Port of course

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

Rover 213 in beige. A lot smaller and less powerful than my current car, a BMW 5 Series – but a car is just a car, I’m not a petrol head.

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

Peter Kay, because peril and impossible odds means the likelihood of survival are slim, so you might as well have a laugh in your last few minutes

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, as they have a closer relationship to humans and could think a little more about the combat, which may mean running away if the odds aren’t in their favour.

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