Servicing a broad partner mix

Servicing a broad partner mix

Microsoft Australia’s director of small and mid-market solutions and partner group, Paul Voges, has taken deliberate career steps to arrive at his current position. He caught up with ARN to talk about software-as-a-service, the economic climate and a passion for sports.

What was your first job?

I was an IT specialist for IBM in Johannesburg. It was a technical consulting role working on Unix systems and involved some development.

When did you move from South Africa to Australia?

I’ve been in Australia for about 10 years now, and I’ve been completely naturalised and love it in Sydney. After I had my first few years of work under my belt, I wanted to go overseas and get experience somewhere else. I thought I’d spend a couple of years in Sydney, and 10 years later I’m still here.

How did you progress to where you are today?

I’ve always had a deliberate career plan – while I had a technical degree, I’ve always wanted to run business units, and I’ve been deliberate in the companies and jobs I’ve taken on.

What do you like about your current job?

My whole career has been more large-scale enterprise in terms of the engagements and types of work I do, so for me this is a very interesting change. I’ve been in this role for nine months now and the partner channel piece is something I’m really enjoying. I’m working with everybody from system builders to system integrators, to distributors and large account resellers as well as the small business side of my portfolio. Some of our customers have as few as five people, which is a completely different experience, so I’m learning a lot every day.

What’s the biggest achievement of your career to date?

Apart from this role, which I’m very proud of, in my previous role I was running the consulting services business for Microsoft. Taking that business through growth for the two years I was running it, and building that team up, was a great achievement.

What do you dislike most about the IT industry?

It’s still maturing in a lot of ways. While it’s been around since, arguably, the 1930s with IBM, it’s still a very immature field, although that can also be a positive as it opens up plenty of opportunities. The other thing I find difficult is the access to skilled people. If you look at recruitment, there’s never enough people to try and get everything you’d like to get done.

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