What’s your career history to date? How did you end up working in Dubai?
I’ve been working for over twenty years now, and I first started with GE’s insurance arm as their country manager for Ireland. At the time I had an appetite for technology, and eventually joined up with Dell where I held senior positions in their acquisitions, marketing and operations departments over the years. I went to work for LogMeIn in 2014, and six months ago I became the director of their channel business in the EMEA region.
If you could improve one thing about the channel business what would it be?
For LogMeIn, specifically, we need to ramp up our presence in the Middle East as quickly as possible by developing stronger relationships with our partners in the region. This will bring us closer to businesses within the region and providing our products to them. So, moving forward, one of our key objectives in 2018 will be to invest in growing our partnerships and presence in the Middle East.
What product or technology should the channel watch out for this year?
One of our strongest products right now is LastPass, and we think it is going to be a revolutionary solution for the Middle East market. Research indicates that one of the simplest solutions for protecting enterprises is a password management service. Individuals within a company can have up to 26 passwords and a management service such as LastPass stores encrypted passwords in private accounts. So that’s something the channel should watch for in 2018.
What is your proudest career achievement to date?
My proudest career achievement to date would be taking a business and growing it three-fold within two years, and at the same time cultivating a culture of hard work and accountability, and developing the individual careers of a forty-member team, so much so that several of them still keep in touch with me. The bond you develop with people along the way is extremely crucial to succeeding.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
The best piece of advice I have ever been given is when I was told to follow my dreams, which is often not as easy as it sounds. You can achieve a lot of things with hard work and common sense, and that’s something I’ve experienced first-hand through the course of my career, but following your dreams is probably the most important factor to succeeding.
What is the biggest mistake you have ever made since working in the IT market?
Underestimating the power of shared learning. One of the mistakes you can make as the leader of any team is to forget how much more a team can achieve as a whole. People can really surprise you with what they can do when they work closely together and collaborate with each other. Sometimes you can forget that because you get caught up in the day to day.
Which IT company, other than your own, do you most admire and why?
From a partner perspective, what Microsoft have achieved in the last five years, the way they have developed their global partnerships and the way in which they work with and collaborate with their partners, is something that we strive towards. They have a global partner network and that’s fantastic because of its reach. That’s something every company should work towards.
What is the biggest challenge facing the Middle East IT channel?
The biggest challenge would be the number of competing products across both hardware and software. There is so much on offer to customers that it is hard for them to know which is a truly great product and which specifically serves their needs. The onus is on vendors and partners to make it easier for customers to differentiate. We need to give partners more information and scale up their awareness.
What’s your favourite thing about the company you currently work for?
LogMeIn and those who work for the company have a strong drive to succeed. Along with that, it’s the culture of inclusivity that I find very admirable. We want to be successful, but in the right way, together, making sure that everyone is along for the journey, and that we cultivate an environment of collaboration and teamwork along the way.
What sort of interests do you have outside of work?
I have two young children who are aged five and eight, and so any interests I had before them have now been discounted. Outside of the time I spend with them, I try to keep myself fit so that I’m healthy enough and energetic enough to look after and keep up with two young kids. I do also enjoy reading and music.
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