What was your first job?

My first job was during the summer months back when I was a student. I worked on a fruit farm which, at the time, supplied both M&S as well as blackcurrants for Ribena. But my first full-time role was as part of the graduate intake for a company called Olivetti – which was famous for its typewriters, but had just moved into the world of IT, and was one of the first PC vendors. Here I worked in the marketing division.

How did you get into Channel marketing?

I’ve spent most of my career working in the IT channel for various vendors. For the last eight years I have been at Toshiba, rebranded in April 2019 to Dynabook. Since 2013, my career has evolved from head of platinum partners and head of managed partner business to head of sales, marketing and operations for Northern Europe.

Before this, I was with Compaq for 10 years, going from managing partner sales to channel director, while I also spent four years working at Dell directing all channel related activity in their emerging markets.

In my current role, I deal with the UK and Ireland, as well as all Nordic countries. Managing our channel partners is a huge part of my job as they are so vital to our business.

What helped you get to where you are today?

Having certain mentors at different stages throughout my career has taught me first-hand different styles, both good and bad, to draw inspiration from.

Best day on the job ever?

The most essential part of my role, which fortunately is an element I also really enjoy, is communicating to customers and the channel about our future plans – such as how we’re refreshing our partner programme to adapt to the “new normal” and also new product offerings beyond laptops – so they feel a part of our journey. Supporting and nurturing strong customer relationships is something I’m lucky enough to do most days!

Biggest thing that’s changed in the industry since you started?

The IT industry, like technology, moves at such a fast pace! I could talk about product development and the sheer pace of how the industry has moved from a mainframe dominated world, to distributed technology platforms and now the advent of cloud – which you could argue is moving back to a mainframe type world with large data centres controlling the world’s data.

However, for me the biggest thing that’s changed is communication. By this I mean the different forms of it, and how it’s adapted as our working patterns and the way we market our solutions have changed. When I started in this industry, before the Internet and mobile communication, marketing tools were based on written and published media with landline communication restricted to the ‘nine to five’ working day. Fast forward to today, and the constant, 24/7 access we take as the norm in our global communication environment means instant marketing via the Internet and global smart media.

Best ever deal?

My first ever deal! This is irrespective of size of course, but it’s that deal which gives you the confidence and belief that you have what it takes to succeed.

A more exciting deal of mine comprised of me flying from the UK to meet a customer who was on holiday with his family. I arrived, concluded a deal at 2am and got the first flight home at 6am – all to hit our quarterly target!

Tomorrow’s world: your prediction?

COVID-19 has had an era-defining impact on both our personal and professional lives. The acceleration of remote working has seen partners step up to support remote workers and offer services such as mobile devices, cloud computing and security technologies.

Beyond investing in laptops to support remote working, our research found wearable devices – particularly assisted reality (AR) smart glasses like the dynaEdge DE-100 – are becoming popular with organisations which require remote diagnostic capabilities. Designed to optimise the efficiency of frontline workers, the dynaEdge DE-100 is used across the manufacturing, logistics, supply chain, training and education sectors.

For businesses to future-proof themselves ahead of the hybrid shift, it’s vital for them to adopt the right technology. We’ll continue to see new internet-of-things (IoT) applications, technologies, and solutions come onto the market – and partners with these offerings will continue to thrive.

Then and now- the one thing you wish you knew back then?

The customer is always right!

As Head of Sales at Dynabook, Northern Europe Nick Offin is particularly focused on promoting expansion into the industrial, healthcare and education industries for the public, corporate and mid-market sectors.

Offin’s time at Dynabook was preceded by roles as Partner Sales Director and General Manager at Compaq Computer Ltd and Dell respectively. Since 2013, Offin’s career at Dynabook has evolved from Dynabook’s information Systems as Head of Platinum Partners and Head of Manged Partner Business, as well as Head of B2B Sales-Northern Europe Computer Systems for Dynabook Business Computing Solutions.

Visit Nick’s LinkedIn profile here