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Paul Diamond, Chief Operating Officer[/caption]
The next author to introduce himself to our readers is relative newcomer Paul Diamond, our Chief Operating Officer:
How long have you worked at Entanet?
I’ve been with Entanet for a year, but what a year it’s been! 2016 is our 20th year of trading and we’ve achieved most of our strategic goals, there’s just one more to go but we’re not quite at the end of the month yet. Of everything that we’ve achieved this year, I’m most proud that we were awarded the BS EN ISO 9001:2015 quality management accreditation; have delivered against our business objectives in the face of increasingly pressured margins and relaunched our partner portal, synergi, to provide partners with a system that is much more feature rich and user friendly than it’s predecessor.
What are your key responsibilities within the business and what are your areas of expertise?
As Chief Operating Officer my responsibilities are to identify improvements and increase efficiencies across our whole business so that Entanet can deliver against its strategic objectives. It’s a great job to be in for someone whose key skills are turning ideas into actions. A strategy without a tactical plan is just an idea so it’s my job to make sure that whatever strategic direction we take, there’s a coherent and measurable plan in place to deliver against.
With regards to opinion, which topics do you usually cover and why?
I’ve only published one article on opinion so far, which argued that resellers have an opportunity - and an obligation - to put the needs of their customer before the commission payment available on a product. While commission payments might help a business’s balance sheet in the short term, it’s the longer term value of trust and quality of relationship that pays dividends. It’s this area where sales meets operations that I’m most likely to write about.
Do you have any specific industry areas of interest that you would like to discuss on opinion or that you particularly follow?
I came from outside of the industry to Entanet but I bring that external experience with me. My areas of interest have always been growth strategies, new product introductions and the implementation of robust quality management systems as I think all 3 of these need to be in place for a company to become successful. Therefore, I tend to follow any external influences on these 3 main areas including competitor analysis, market trends and customer opinions.
In your debut article for Entanet, you suggested that the definition of business-grade connectivity depends entirely on the size, requirements and resources of a specific business; that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Do you think our industry has fully embraced this notion or are we still trying to sell products based on margin availability?
I wrote this piece back in October and my view still stands. There are plenty of businesses within the channel trying to jump onto the latest technology to prove that they’re still in the game, but this means putting the customer at risk of implementing a solution that doesn’t fulfil their requirements. Margins are being pressured in all areas, which is why selling on service quality is so important. Acting in your customer’s best interests is a much better strategy than the race-to-the-bottom in the long term.
We actively encourage feedback and interaction from our readers, what would you like to hear about from them?
I’d like partners and other readers alike to tell us how they’d like to do business with us and how we can make ourselves more attractive to them. In an industry where margins are tight, share of wallet is crucial. When you’re on the inside looking out, it’s always beneficial to get an external perspective, so if there are areas in which Entanet can improve, change or introduce something new that’s of mutual benefit, it’s worth having a conversation.
Getting to know Paul
What are your interests/hobbies outside of the office?
I’m an active guy, so I spend a lot of time trekking up mountains or along canals. The best thing about taking a walk up a tow path in the summer is being able to stop at the many picturesque pubs that line them. You get to meet a lot of interesting people and wildlife along the way.
If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?
Without a doubt my superpower would be time travel. I’d spend more of my time travelling backwards than forwards though, so that I could experience what people were thinking when life altering decisions were made. For example, when the decision was made to drop the nuclear bomb, what was going through people’s minds? Did they really think it through and did they fully anticipate how the world was to change as a result?
Who would you like to meet dead or alive and why?
This is a really easy question for me to answer - I’ve spent many years in the space industry and I’m fascinated by what went on with Apollo 11 so I’d love to have some one-on-one off-the-record time with Neil Armstrong. There are many conspiracy theories around whether or not Apollo 11 landed on the moon or not, but I’m absolutely convinced that they didn’t. The Americans were under pressure to save face to the Russians as JFK had committed to sending a man to the moon and returning him safely by the end of the decade, so I think they faked it in a film studio. The Americans are very good at keeping secrets though, so it’s probably one of those things that we’ll never know the truth about.
What are your three favourite things in life?
Firstly, my three sons. Seeing them develop into young men has been fabulous - they absolutely amaze me with what they’ve done in their young lives. Second is my iPad - it's my one connection with the outside world where I can find the answer to anything I don’t know… although maybe that means Google is my second favourite thing. Finally, it’s a toss up between red wine and my car. My car is new so I’m pretty upbeat about it but with the passage of time, I’m pretty sure that red wine will come back to favour. If anyone wants to buy me a glass, I like a good Argentinian Malbec or a Chilean Carménère.
What is your pet hate?
Queuing. I’ve become less tolerant of it as I’ve progressed through life and I’ll do pretty much anything to avoid it. I’ll pay to get to the front of a queue, I’ll leave work either early or late to avoid traffic and I love e-commerce because the notion of a queue doesn’t exist, even at peak times.