5 minutes with: Simon Wallis

Simon Wallis, Business Development Director, Spicers UK & Ireland.


Describe what you do in fewer than 20 words.

I am responsible for the Synergy Partner Sales & Marketing programme and added value services including managed print services. 

What’s your most amusing industry-related experience? 

I recently overheard one of my wife’s friends asking her what I did for a living. "He works in WH Smith or something," she replied. I clearly don’t do a good job at articulating what I do.

What’s your biggest achievement?   

Creating and implementing a sales and marketing programme, Advant-edge, at ISA that went from zero (in 2005) to represent over 30% – or £30 million ($48 million) – of the business within three years.

What do you think will be the biggest single issue affecting the OP industry over the next five years? 

Managed print services (MPS). The solution may evolve and mutate, but I am convinced that it’ll migrate down into the 50 to 500 employee space. I liken it to the importance of resellers having a web store to offer to existing customers ten years ago. It’s critical that resellers have a solution and start the ‘MPS journey’ with their chosen partner now. 

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?  

I am a passive vegetarian. I think I need to start being more assertive in persuading my friends of the many benefits of turning vegetarian. 

What business or management book would you recommend as essential reading?  

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is a life-changing read that is relevant to business and personal life. Even reading chapter one will change the way you think forever. 

What do you like best about the OP industry? 

I love the community of proactive partnerships and healthy competition. It drives constant evolution and is a catalyst for investment, innovation and change.

The first record you bought? 

Adam and the Ants, Stand & Deliver, in 1981.

If you could invite two famous people for dinner, who would they be and why would you invite them?  

John Frusciante, Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist, so he could teach me Under the Bridge one to one. And, if I could turn back time, author John Steinbeck so I could simply begin to understand the genius behind the novels. 

What makes you angry? 

Litter bugs. I just don’t get why people drop litter.

The best concert you have ever been to?

Lenny Kravitz in 1991, at the Brixton Academy on his Mama Said tour. Closely followed by Kings of Leon in 2005, at the Birmingham Carling Academy on their Aha Shake Heartbreak tour.

How would you like to be remembered?

He made a difference. 

What is mankind’s greatest invention?

It has to be Microsoft Excel. People who know me will understand. It changed everything.