62nd Interview

Mark Whitehead, Head of Channel Sales, GCI Channel Solutions

Comms Business Magazine talks to Mark Whitehead, Head of Channel Sales, GCI Channel Solutions, the supplier of network services and applications to the channel.

Founded in 2000 by CEO Wayne Martin, GCI now has a £55 million turnover and employs over 200 members of staff throughout the UK.

GCI’s recent acquisitions have seen its product range and specialties grow from strength to strength now offering services in connectivity, communications, data safety, cloud computing and managed IT. Our intention is to equip our customers with the network and infrastructure they need to allow them to become pioneers of technology and gain a competitive edge in their markets.

Mark Whitehead, Head of Channel Sales at GCI Channel Solutions, says the GCI team is incredibly friendly and our services are second to none in the industry.

“Over the years we have become experienced in our field and have secured partnerships that allow us to offer the most beneficial service to our clients whilst been competitively priced at the same time. We pride ourselves on being small enough to care but big enough to be effective and we pledge to work to deliver the right infrastructure for any business need.

Whilst offering a reliable, flexible and scalable ICT solution GCI aim to reduce business costs, reduce business risk, help free-up internal resources, improve business efficiency and effectiveness through the use of technology. We are proud of our track record in developing innovative products and services tailored to meet the needs of business today and tomorrow.”

Looking at the market today Mark Whitehead says, “The last few years have seen an incredible upturn in the take up of Ethernet which has created an environment where VoIP, IaaS, managed online backup, & Hosted Lync can really start to gain traction. The appetite for Ethernet hasn’t abated and formed a huge part of our revenues in 2013. We have seen an increase in the take up VoIP recently but we are still not expecting significant movement in 2014.

GCI Partners have reported an increase in RFIs requesting Hosted Lync and this is where I believe we will see most traction in 2014. Resellers that have customers in the Education sector have had to no bid tenders that are Lync focused and are actively looking for Lync suppliers with good reference ability that give them the ability to self- serve.”

Married? Yes

Lives where? Nottingham

Kids? One Boy 16 months and a Girl 4 yrs

What is your favourite car? E Type Jaguar

What do you drive? Mercedes Benz E Class Coupe

What really gets your goat in business? Missed deadlines

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Never assume people in authority know what they are doing.

And the worst? Not taking advice to buy Pfizer shares before they launched Viagra!

Favourite Film? Casino Royal

Who is/was the best James Bond? Daniel Craig

Last CD/DVD bought? Film The Woman in Black

Sport? Ju Jutsu – 3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor

Favourite team? Nottingham Forest

What’s the best thing you’ve bought this year?

New pair of black Loake shoes

What have you wasted money on?

Too many car magazines!

If you could pick anyone to go to dinner with who would it be and why? Jeremy Clarkson – He’s probably the only person I wouldn’t bore with talk of Cars, I generally do everyone else.

What could you not live without? Traditional Ale

Who’s been your greatest inspiration? Winston Churchill

Do you have a hero? Henry V

If it all went belly up tomorrow, what would you do? Sell my way out of trouble

What would you do if you were invisible?  I couldn’t possibly comment

If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be? Daniel Craig

Your best blag ever? Successfully pretended to be a RAF Fighter Pilot all evening at a Military event… until the actual Fighter Pilot arrived.

What is on your iPod? Plan B, Lana Delray and Elgar Enigma Variations

What Gadgets do you have? 3D TV, Nokia Microsoft Phone with Lync

Your opinion of 3G coverage in the UK is… Average at best, great opportunities for back up where available.