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Cutting the commute

Cutting the commute

Tandberg channel manager, Adam Britten, has the job of building the Scandinavian videoconferencing vendor’s local indirect presence. He speaks to MATTHEW SAINSBURY about the attraction of telepresence, working with partners and living on the central coast.

What was your first job?

My first job was working in sales at a plumbing supply store straight out of university, before I found what I wanted to do in the IT industry. It taught me a few good things about selling in general and how to progress a sale along in a retail environment. My first job in IT was also in a retail environment, where I worked with a computer and office machine store.

What did you do at university?

I did an associate diploma in business computing at the University of NSW.

What attracted you to the IT industry?

Early on, it was an interest in computing. At that time – the late 1980s and early 1990s – I was interested in computing, gaming and the like. Later on, I was interested because it was a growth industry. But I ended up in IT more out of luck than planning.

What do you like about your current job?

I think the best thing about my job is working with channel partners. I’ve always been in the channels business, and it’s something I enjoy. Trying to become a more integral part of the partner’s business and helping them become profitable around a particular piece of the technology that you’re specialising in is an interesting challenge.

How did you end up at Tandberg?

Previously, I’d worked a lot in the networking information and security and unified communications space. I came to Tandberg to look at what I felt was the biggest part of the whole unified communications message and the real value, which is video and visual communications. I did a lot of research into that marketplace, looking at who is in that space and what the market message is. I looked at the role of VoIP as an application and the transition it underwent from being a facilities managed piece of technology, through to an IT piece, and then really looked at video as the next logical application. I came to Tandberg on the back of that.

What is the biggest achievement of your career?

In the last two-and-a-half years, the work we’ve done has been some of the most rewarding in my career. We’ve fundamentally changed our business, and permanently grown it by a huge amount. It has been a really rewarding process to be involved in an organisation that is growing and investing in its future and people.

What is Tandberg’s focus over the next 12 months?

From a technology perspective, Tandberg will continue to invest in telepresence and unified communications, so the integration with third parties such as Microsoft and IP telephony partners is important. From our perspective in the channels group, it’s about working with our existing partners and continuing to build their capabilities while educating them on the bigger business opportunities. But more so, it’s about looking at the channel now and working with new partners that have a requirement to build new lines of business in their existing practice. So the focus in the next two years is around strong engagement with the existing channel, and driving this through education, marketing, sales engagement, as well as profiling the market for new channel partners. ---P--- What do you dislike most about the IT industry?

I think a lot of the industry can focus on technology for technology’s sake – it’s not a dislike, but I think more focus is required across the industry on the business applications technology is being put to.

What do you do when you’re not at work? I’ve got two young kids, so they tend to fill up a fair chunk of my time. I live on the central coast, so I take advantage of the location and lifestyle it offers. I do a bit of surfing but mostly spend time with the kids and make sure I’m there for them.

How long is the commute?

Depending on the traffic it’s about and hour, hour and- a-half. Luckily, I do get to use technology – being a videoconferencing company, I do have a home office set-up. Tandberg has invested in building infrastructure so we can utilise the technology internally and everyone at Tandberg has at least one videoconferencing system, so that negates me having to drive down every day.

What made you decide to live on the central coast?

We wanted to live near the beach, have a nice place and still be able to afford the things that we like to do. We had an investment property up there, and the whole family is up there – it’s always nice to have the grandparents around when you’ve got kids.

Are you a gadget person?

A little – probably less so than I used to be. I used to be much more aware of all the things coming out, but I suppose as you mature and have less and less time, you have less time to invest in these things. But I do keep up to date with what is going on.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

My first memory of what I wanted to be was a doctor – I can’t remember why, but I always figured it would be a good thing to do. I’ve always thought it’s good to have a passion for your job and do something you think helps people.

What is your biggest ambition?

I think my biggest ambition is to continue to learn and grow my knowledge of the Australian and international IT marketplace, and continue to add value to business partners and employees – I don’t have a single ambition where I can say “I want to be this”

Company Snapshot<.b>

    Tandberg provides sales, support and value-added services in more than 90 countries worldwide. It is a provider of telepresence, high-defi nition video conferencing and mobile video products and services with dual headquarters in New York and Norway. Locally, the vendor maintains offi ces in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra.


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