Datastor’s CEO, Dave Rosenberg, talks to The Channel about his IT career so far and his new-found passion for mountain biking.
When did you first begin to work in IT and how did it come about?
I started in IT in 1991 after completing my formal studies and spending a year overseas. It came about as I needed to do two years of practical experience in a relevant field to complete my NZCE. I was employed by a company called Hewitt Rand (one of the original Quantum and Colorado tape-product distributors) in a technical support role. I was lucky enough to be involved in test and development of some of the very fi rst RAID technologies under Novell.
Tell us a bit about your career so far. Following my role in technical support for Hewitt Rand, I became CNE during my time there and spent two years working for a reseller, where I was providing installation and servicing. After some time in this field, I decided to move into sales. I also went back to distribution in a sales capacity and have
stayed in distribution ever since. I have been in sales management for the past 12 years (10 of which have been with Datastor) and more recently have stepped up to take on the CEO role at Datastor, which is a new and exciting chapter in my career.
What is the most memorable moment of your ICT career so far?
There are so many! The people I work with every day create memorable moments both within our business, but also outside too. There’s just too many to single out, especially working in an industry of change and being with one company for 10 years. I’ve been part of that change, watching the company grow from 13 employees to 73 and significantly increase its revenue year on year. And over 20 of those people at Datastor I have worked with for five years or more.
What projects are you working on at present that particularly excite you?
We have just completed three projects which have been fantastic:
- The Datastor rebrand and forum event.
- The purchase and integration of Cellnet,which was achieved in less than one week.
- Winning the Symantec RFP to distribute the full Symantec product range.
Cloud computing is the next big area in the IT Industry. I see it as a huge area of opportunity, if done correctly and if the necessary investment is made to offer it properly with the right technology partners. The partners have a massive area for growth and differentiation in this space, as there is huge scope. I would say watch out for some of the strategic alliances that are to come regarding the cloud: Datastor has a number of technology partnerships and initiatives in this area, which it will be offering to the partners.
Apart from the internet, what do you think is the most important or exciting piece of technology to be invented in the last 100 years and why?
The cellphone. What did I do when I drove without one? Mobility and communication have revolutionised the way we communicate. Who can really remember life without it?
Apart from what your company produces, what is the most exciting technology out there today and why? Any technology to do with improving efficiency and reducing waste. I was recently in the US and visited a company which produces a technology that transfers mechanical energy to electrical energy. This is nothing new, but the particular applications it is being used for are mind-blowing. Due to significant improvements in physical size, it can now be used in anything from port cranes to assisting with the lift function after the freight has been dropped.
How have your studies prepared you for a career in the ICT industry?
NZCE gave me a start in the ICT industry, although I do not really use it today. I have completed various management papers over the last 10 years, which have been good in helping me to understand how the practice applies to the theory.
Would you suggest that others follow your example?
What people must do is pick a career which they are passionate about. You spend so much of your life in your job; it needs to be a passion. I could not imagine spending more than 40 hours a week doing something I was not passionate about.
If you could work in any other field apart from ICT, what would it be and why?
I am passionate about what I do, so I haven’t considered any other field!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
With two children under eight, I spend all the free time I can with my family. I have just taken up mountain biking, which is a lot of fun and good stress relief. I seem to have become one of ‘those’ competitive sideline sports parents too!
Do you find it difficult to maintain the work/life balance in the modern world? How do you manage it?
It can be hard, but I try to reserve weekends as exclusive downtime or family time, which works well.
What is your favourite technology gadget at present and why?
My favourite technology gadget is my media centre at home. It has multiple TVs and all the media is centralised so you can watch or listen to what you want, when you want, in any room of the house.
And your favourite website?
www.1-day.co.nz – the best ideas are often the simplest. Being an impulsive buyer, let’s just say they do fairly well out of me.
What are you reading at present?
I have just started Air Con – The Inconvenient Truth about Global Warming by Ian Wishart.
Who do you most admire in the technological world and why?
I have been fortunate to have attended a number of IT conferences, so I have heard several IT leaders speak and it’s difficult to bring this down to one person. There are two who stick in my mind, in particular for their ‘street fighting’ attitude and ability: Joe Tucci from EMC, whom I admire because he won two amazing battles for acquisition – VMware and more recently Data Domain. The second is Jerry Kennelly from Riverbed, whom I met in Singapore when the company was just a start-up. He has an amazing story of the start-up of the business, and his incredible vision has led to one of the most successful start-ups in IT history.