What was your first job?
I worked as a cadet insurance broker in New Zealand, where I grew up.
How did you end up in the IT industry?
I was returning from my backpacker travels and stopped to see relatives in Sydney. I just threw the CV out there and ended up getting a job with Amstrad selling dirt-cheap PCs in the 1980s. They don't exist anymore.
How did you progress to where you are today?
I was with them for four years, which is a lifetime in that kind of environment. As a result of meeting my wife while I was at Amstrad, we made a mutual decision that one of us had to go. That just happened to be me as I got a job with Microsoft. I was with them for five years, originally in the phone-based channel servicing group just after it was set up. When they launched the solution provider program, I took a job as a channel manager. I held that job for two years. Then it was a circuitous route. I spent a couple of years selling at CA, then BMC. I went overseas again and when I came back, ran my own business for four years. It was a sales consulting business, helping people sell their stuff. I've been with SoftGen for almost a year.
What do you like about your current job?
I like the autonomy. It's just me - I'm pretty much in sole control. So if it all falls flat on its face there's no one else to blame but me. It's not scary, it's good fun.
What is the biggest achievement of your career?
Still having a good sense of humour after this length of time selling stuff for a living is quite an achievement. Most sales guys I know are a bit scarred by it in the end, but as long as you treat it like good fun it brings a sense of fulfilment.
What do you dislike most about the IT industry?
It would have to be CRM systems because they are so impractical. They are the bane of a sales guy's life. If you input every single call you make that goes to voicemail or is not answered, you can be there for weeks trying to document your day.
What will be the 'next big thing' in the industry?
Without any hesitation, I would say mobility. That is the reason why we took Bright Software on. A year ago, there wasn't a lot of RFID activity, but we're getting 6-8 per month now. Everybody is looking at enabling mobile workforces. I can see that going wild in the next two years.
What is the main focus for your company this year?
We have a strong foothold in the reseller market and we're very committed to them. We are looking seriously, though, to create more demand with more marketing to the enterprise world. That's not so that everyone knows about SoftGen. But we do want everyone to know about the tools that are in our kit pack. We want everyone to know about Bright, NXJ Composer and the other tools we have. So we will really start to focus on corporate Australia in the next 12 months. That's not to say we want to sell it direct; we just want to create the demand.
What do you do when you're not at work?
I play football [soccer] when I get the time. It's the great addiction. I have a group of mates I play an indoor game with a couple of times a week if I can swing it. In the meantime, I have a family, so the reality is that there's not a lot of spare time.
Do you like gadgets?
I do like gadgets. I'm hopelessly addicted to my BlackBerry. I'd be dead in the water without it. A lot of people hate them because it means you're getting your emails delivered to your hip regardless of where you are, but I prefer to see stuff as it happens. And my home's full of big gadgets.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
An astronaut. The sheer excitement and escapism of it enticed me. I also wanted to be a pilot for the same reason.
What is your biggest ambition?
To manage Australia at the [soccer] World Cup.