10-15 years later at a giant like Microsoft, we run so many of those large pieces of infrastructure for customers. So we have to be thoughtful in terms of what it means for customers if IT goes down. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, what does it mean? How do we react? Those were key lessons learned at Alteon.
You mentioned you're the new father to twins does that leave you any spare time for hobbies?
99 per cent of my non-work time is looking after the twins. I'm a mad sports fan, and, being English, I'm a huge cricket tragic. Despite living here for 13 years, I still tend to support England in almost everything that they play.
I'm also a big red wine collector, so when we moved house, one of my pet projects was building out a wine cellar. We love going away to the different wine regions of Australia and New Zealand and cultivating our collection, and spending way too much money on good wine.
What are some of the key differences between the UK and Australian go-to-markets?
I really like working in the Australian environment. The business and market here is that perfect storm of being just big enough to be interesting, but not overly big and bureaucratic. It's big enough to have fun and be meaningful, and the culture of entrepreneurialism and the can do attitude is good. The market here is seen as something of an innovator. Not just in terms of Redmond asking us to do their projects here, but that the actual ideas and innovations developed here. There are already so many examples of projects being built here and pushed out to Microsoft's subsidiaries worldwide.
You spent nearly a decade at Nortel, what made you jump over to Microsoft in 2010?
I was running the product marketing organisation for Nortel across Asia, and one of the big things we were working with Microsoft on was around unified communications, back in the days of OCS and LCS products.
One of the guys who most people in the Australian channel would know is Oscar Trimboli. He was working at Microsoft at the time. I was intrigued by the company, the people, and culture. We had a number of discussions over months, and eventually found a role running the server business. So I moved from Nortel, took a few months off when my daughter was born, did some consulting, and then came across.
It was a bit of a baptism of fire in terms of the complexity and size of that part of Microsoft's business. It was also around the time of Windows 7, so we were tackling a lot of the issues Microsoft had around Vista. Once that was worked through there was a good energy, a good mojo.
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