Name: Richard Butler
Title: Technical director, BlueBerryIT
Twitter handle: Hmm... I don't have one, is that a bit embarrassing? I actually don't get the point of Twitter a lot of it just seems like noise to me.
How long have you been in your current role? Six years.
What business technology issue is your organisation focusing on? Mobilising our customers, giving them access to key business information regardless of where they are and what device they are using. We are doing huge amounts of SharePoint development based on Office 365. Our customers are starting to understand the possibilities. I think Microsoft have really got it right with Office 365, it's a fantastic product for small businesses and the price is great. Removing servers from customers' sites is a double edged sword for us, but we totally understand why people want to and we've had all our systems in the cloud for the last six years so it wouldn't be right to be encouraging our customers to do the opposite.
What are your interests away from work? Hanging out with my wife, Bernie and 17 year old son, Sam. I love mountain biking, Nelson is the best spot in New Zealand for riding off road. I also study Seido Karate, I'm an advanced brown belt and hoping to do my black belt grading sometime next year. On the more cerebral side, I play bass guitar in a Nelson band called The Immigrants. The band is my escape from the day to day, my creative outlet.
What are you reading at the moment? The second book in the Game of Thrones series, I watched all the TV series and the books are fantastic as well. My favourite fiction author is Iain M Banks, his sci-fi books are stunning.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received? Easy, from the book Integrity by Dr Henry Cloud, he talked about "leaving a good wake". He imagined people going through life like a boat, you can either row along slowly or race like a speed boat but the important thing is that when you look behind you what effect is the wake you leave having on other people. They might be surfing along on your wake having a great old time or they might be drowning in the waves. I love the imagery.
Professionally, who do you admire most? Richard Branson, his relaxed but focused approach to business and the way he treats his staff, customers, and competitors is very inspiring.
How long have you been working in IT? Eighteen years this year, now that's scary, nearly half my life!
If you weren't working in IT, What would you be doing? Playing bass in a band, but I'd be making money doing it.
What was your first job? Serving beer in a real ale pub in Salford, Manchester. It still remains one of my favourite jobs, I'd love to own a pub one day, or maybe I love the idea of owning one, I'm sure the reality is much different to my fantasy.
What's the best thing about working with IT executives? The excitement about the industry, there's always so much happening right now and so many fascinating new things on the horizon.
What is the worst? Tough question, sometimes it can be their inability to recognise the benefits external suppliers like us can bring given our breadth of exposure to technologies in a wide range of industries.
Can you share one key pointer for keeping abreast of business and technology trends? I rely very heavily on my suppliers for this, I do read around the subject but we encourage our suppliers to talk to us and visit us as often as possible. The guys at Exeed are great, they courted us for a long time before we did anything with them because I'm usually very loyal to my suppliers if things are going well, but they're a great team to work with. Jeff Maslen (senior business manager - storage and servers) at Ingram Micro is also a great resource for us, he's one of the most knowledgeable people I've met.
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