In the hot seat: Family man with an expansion plan

In the hot seat: Family man with an expansion plan

What was your first job?

Dominic Whitehand (DW): My first job was in a pizza factory in the UK when I was fifteen and still at school. The money was actually pretty good.

How did you end up in the IT industry?

DW: I did an IT degree at university and I've been in the industry ever since.

How did you progress to where you are today?

DW: I started as a systems administrator then moved on to being a developer, a consultant, senior consultant (coming to Australia) and salesman. From there I basically moved into channel positions, such as channel manager for HP's OpenView software, and then executive roles within the channel. This included more than a year as second-in-command at security distributor, Layer 9. Following this, I went through a spell of consulting to channel players such as Fuji-Xerox and ADI to put forward fresh ideas on partner alliances, channel programs and so on.

The role that affected me the most was at Layer 9, a business which had a very early security-focused distribution model. We held master distribution at the time for Check Point on the Nokia IP platform, as well as distribution of WatchGuard, F5 Networks and others. We were one of the first businesses to push 24 x 7 managed firewall/managed security services to the Australian market and we were certainly the first to evaluate and utilise the Provider-1 MSSP platform from Check Point. This was back in 1999. I think some of our competition overlooks our depth of experience from back then up until now in MSSP and security distribution. Layer 9 is where I met Jonathan Odria and it was the two of us that started WhiteGold in 2002.

What do you like about your current job?

DW: The flexibility and the depth of involvement. It's a really fast-paced environment and we are constantly improving our systems, services and support delivery mechanisms to best suit channel requirements. Since we are a fairly small team, we all have a say in this and see the direct results of our efforts. Building a business can be a lot of fun when you see your ideas and labour generate direct success.

What is the biggest achievement of your career?

DW: Starting WhiteGold, keeping it alive and growing it over the last three-and-a-half years. We are destined for far greater heights in the near future as well, with a full re-branding underway and new premises, services, website, systems and products all on the cards for this year.

What do you dislike most about the IT industry?

DW: The fact that so many people get away with talking themselves up to the nth degree. Whether it be over-zealous (and often untruthful) marketing from nervous competition, or resellers simple stretching the truth by looking for credit they cannot back up. It astounds me that there are so many pirates out there. We run our business on the premise of honesty, integrity and professionalism. The obvious assumption to make is that other organisations out there do as well. Unfortunately, this is just not the case.

What do you think will be the next big thing?

DW: I think wireless security and encrypted electronic communication are two key areas in security.

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