Westcon Group's newest addition, sales director, David Hook, chatted with ARN's JULIA TALEVSKI about his new role, what he will be focusing on and what are some of the hottest trends in business.
How did you get started in the IT industry?
I was running my own businesses for about 15 years in hospitality and retail, and it got to a point where it wasn’t very conducive to family life. I decided to get into sales and I knew that IT was a growing and prosperous areas and so I focused on trying to get into the IT industry. I ended up getting a role with a company called Provenco, who were a payment and technology company. I spent three years with them in a couple of different sales roles in Auckland, New Zealand. After three years, I applied for a position with Datastor, which was bought by Westcon in 2010. I started as an account manager and about two years later, I became the national sales manager and then about a year ago was made general manager of sales for Westcon New Zealand. Then three weeks ago started with my new role as a sales director.
How’s the transition across the ditch?
The move has been good, but I’m still getting used to commuting at the moment. I feel like I’m part of the furniture now and I’ve been spending time with my team, meeting with customers, vendors and reaching out to people that I already know in the market. So far, everyone has been incredibly welcoming and supportive. It has been an easy transition.
What will be some of your points of focus?
I’ll be getting to know the Australian business. It’s a different business from New Zealand and the market itself is also quite different. I’ve got my ears wide open and I’m asking lots of questions, and I’m looking at the way we do certain things and reason behind doing it that way or whether there’s a different way. I’m not looking to make any significant changes, I’m just looking to understand the business before any changes are made or at all.
One of my short-term focuses is getting more cadence and rigor around the way we go to market and also how we report back into the business. We don’t have a CRM system at the moment and I’m focused on that as a project, so we can better report internally about how our business is performing, but also giving more support to the sales teams with both guidance and tools to make sure they’re effective in the market. Ultimately, the goal is to provide the best customer service that we can, while adding value to our engagement with them. We don’t just want to be seen as a logistics business, we have a large sales organisation and focused in the right way, they can add value to the channel.
What are some of the hottest trends you’re seeing in the market?
Security is a key area and we’re continuously growing our security business. Storage continues to grow and picking up NetApp as a key vendor for us, just strengthens our infrastructure business. As the Internet of Everything becomes more prolific, storage will continue to grow.
What have you enjoyed the most in your roles at Westcon?
I really like the people that I work with and the way we’re treated in the business. Even though we’re a global organisation, our CEO, Dolph Westerbos, has been to Australia a number of times and he’s only been in the business for about 12 months. He’s interested in us as individuals, how we’re doing and the value we’re adding to the business. It feels like a family and the culture is really good, that’s why I’ve been here for six years and moved into this new role with the business.
What are some of your plans for the business?
I’ve got a lot of ideas, but I need to have a better feel of what the Australian business could grow and develop into in the New Year. We’ve got great relationships with our customers and vendors, but there are always areas of growth and development that we can work on and do a better job.
What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of work?
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I have two young boys that keep me busy, 10 and 7 years old, Blake and Jordan. I enjoy spending time with them and also hanging out with friends. I also enjoy many sports like tennis, cricket and sailing.