Staff Biography - Chris Barnes
In detail, what is your role at Think IT?
I am an Account Manager which means my role is to welcome new customers, recommend solutions that meet business needs and act as a friendly face to help you understand the ever-changing world of IT and how changes can benefit your business.
What is it that drives and encourages you within your work and personal life?
I have been around long enough to have seen several changes in the way we work. Technology has made it easier for many to work from anywhere but what drives me is to encourage everyone to use the technology that is available but also learn to stop work and live life so you do not let your work life dominate your reason to live.
Who, or what, was the biggest influence in your career today?
I had a Sales Manager once who used to say that Kiwis love to buy stuff, but do not like to be sold to and that everything should be about helping a business to sell more ice creams and not helping yourself to sell more computers. That resonated with my prior career as a Solicitor and has always had an influence on my relationship with people I talk to every day.
Whose biggest fan, are you?
I am the biggest fan of individual people who make an achievement in their chosen field, who overcome obstacles life places in their way and then go back to a "normal life" or who just do well in their hobbies. The culture of personality that pervades our everyday life tends to drown out the very interesting "little stories" of people just doing their best and sometimes achieving remarkable things.
What accomplishment are you most proud of within your job role at Think IT?
Understanding Microsoft licensing - yes really, it is a tough nut to crack as it is ever changing and not based on any internal logic as it is a set of arbitrary rules that are often amended over time to try to meet technology changes or changes in customers needs.
What technology most excites you?
Managed Print is awesome allowing us to bring a fixed cost per print to the smaller business..... but apart from that success story, the rapid pace of change that Microsoft is bringing to the Office 365 family of products is stunning. New ideas are arriving every month and some of them have developed into viable business applications. We cannot ignore the work they also do releasing completely free applications such as Microsoft Research Image Composite Editor and Office Lens - go check them out.
What areas should business be focussing on when it comes to technology?
The move to the Cloud requires careful consideration and the current trend is around Hybrid IT. Some parts of the Cloud are ideal for New Zealand small business such as hosted email and documents along with their associated data analysis tools. However, in some cases, the on-premise hardware is going to be a more appropriate solution and we can help you with that decision in an unbiased fashion as we do both.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
These days family and home take up a lot of my spare time. Like many with a blended family, I have the joy (and lack of sleep) that comes with a young family as well as my older children who have left home.
If you could gain one super-human power, what would it be?
I have a superhuman power already - patience with Auckland traffic. Looks like teleportation may be at the top of most of our lists for this one - I wonder why.