A competitive spirit

A competitive spirit

Total Network Support (TNS) director, Oliver Lindsaar, loves being the boss. He spoke to ARN about his transition into the IT industry, where he thinks things are heading and his love of car racing.

What was your first job?

The first job I got paid for was rabbit trapping when I was 12 years old. I also rented out surfboards in the early 1960s. While I was at university I did some brick laying and drove taxis. I went into share broking and worked as a trader in the stock exchange and then I spent some time building yachts. I also tried my hand in the car business.

How did you end up in the IT industry?

In 1969, the company I was working for at the time was one of the first to computerise their operations. I thought I must get into this area one day. In 1979, we computerised our car business. I then began working with a company called Data Force where I was employed to sell software, which I thought was interesting. One of the agencies we had was Wilson Computer Services, which is now known as WCS. I helped them start-up their Melbourne operation in 1983. PCs were coming out at that stage and I thought PC networks were the way to go. I started Total Network Support in 1992 and we have been gradually growing since.

What do you like about your current job?

It's interesting and the rate of change has been fascinating. There is always something new happening in this industry. Being the boss is easier than working for somebody else because I do not have to explain myself to anyone. I enjoy seeing people meet their potential, employing staff and watching them grow and achieve and then move on to better things.

What is the biggest achievement of your career?

Becoming a Microsoft Gold partner when the vendor's partnership strategy was first announced. There are a lot of bigger companies involved in the program now. I like the fact that TNS has been around for a long time. I just get a sense of achievement and it feels worthwhile. I have seen a lot of people come and go in this industry.

What do you dislike most about the IT industry?

What I don't like is the fact that people are job hopping all the time. This means they do not take long-term responsibility for their jobs. Continuity and responsibility in the long term do not seem to exist in most places.

What will be the 'next big thing' in the industry?

The next big thing in computers is that you will have a screen that appears on the wall and you will talk to it and it will come back and do whatever you want. There are a lot of people talking about VMware, virtualisation and so forth, but I think this two-way commmunication between people and computers will be a big thing from a user perspective.

What is the main focus for your company this year?

Our attitude is that the client comes first. The most important thing we can do is keep that client relationship working because nothing is as important as the client's business.

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