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Profile: Microsoft's Phil Goldie

Allan Swann | March 30, 2015
Microsoft's partner boss discusses Cloud, wine and M&A.

Microsoft's director of partner business and development, Phil Goldie has been a key figure in Microsoft's channel sales operations since 2009, and before that covering Asian and European markets for Nortel. It's a big year for Microsoft, with the local launches of Microsoft's key Cloud products Azure, Office365 and CRMOnline, as well as Windows 10.

He sat down with ARN Editor, Allan Swann, to discuss the company's big 2015 plans, changes to its channel partner programs and his wine collection.

What gave you your first steps into the IT market?
I grew up in Birmingham in the U.K., and moved to Australia when I was 28. So I've been here for almost 13 years now.

I went to the University of Liverpool. I did the classic entry point a university degree in computer science, and then worked in a couple of big end user organisations.

I worked in a couple of interesting places, in one of the largest stationery chains in the UK, Dudley Stationery, which is a very thin margin business. There weren't any massively sophisticated IT systems at the time, although they did do a big implementation of SAP early on — which didn't go so well. I then worked for Schroders bank in London. That was the opposite end of the spectrum very large IT budgets, deploying big Cisco ATM networks and the like.

I made the move from end-user to vendor, working in security and firewalls technology, had the opportunity to work for Alteon Web Systems, who were famous for datacentre load balancing and layer 47 switching. At that time I was still a very technical pre-sales engineer, and then Alteon got bought out by Nortel in 2000 so I went from a very small start up to one of the biggest companies in the world at the time.

So how did you end up in Australia?
I married a Kiwi. My wife is from Auckland, so we struck a compromise for an in-between Sydney. I did the classic pommie thing and said we'd stay for a couple of years to see how it goes. We've been here 13 years now.

We've got a five-year-old daughter and earlier this year my wife gave birth to twins, so we're becoming pretty deeply rooted in Sydney.

Probably one of the pivots that happened when I moved here was, instead of just relearning all the technical things over and over again, I became far more interested in the business side of things the marketing, go to market, and working with our partners. So I did an MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management.

Working in a small company you do get an idea of what happens when technology fails a customer. In Alteon, there were literally a handful of us working Europe, so if a customers network's down, you took the call personally.


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