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By | Paul Kunert 10th February 2014 10:40

Softcat raids Insight reserve, makes off with Baker's scalp

Marlow-based reseller directs latest senior recruit to ramp cloudy biz

Former Insight EMEA director of product management James Baker is en route to Softcat as the man charged with firing up its cloudy biz.

He resigned from Insight last month after being tapped up by his new employer, and is set to manage the "key" vendor portfolio as alliances director when his gardening leave expires in April.

Marlow-based Softcat - still content with the unfashionable tag of 'reseller' - noted a shift in the "business direction" of vendors, namely the move to cloud, and wants Baker to "attune" sales more to this.

"Customers are buying in different ways and with an official alliance director taking the reigns at our end, we can help our vendors adjust to these changes," said chairman Martin Hellawell.

Microsoft and Adobe, for example, have made a lot of their respective online products, Office 365 and the Creative Cloud Suite, so it is only natural Softcat wants a bigger slice of the action.

Baker was a member of Microsoft's global Partner Advisory Board and knows the senior decision makers in Redmond, so in theory at least is in a position of influence.

For fiscal '13 ended March, Softcat revealed it had hit the £400m sales barrier, growing 30 per cent on the previous fiscal.

The top line included a £6m contribution from cloud and managed services, so there is clearly room to grow in this area. Full results have yet to be filed at Companies House.

Baker, who worked at Symantec and Veritas. is the latest senior person to depart Insight, following the departure of EMEA president Stuart Fenton and senior execs Garry Butters, Tony Brooker and Frank Bitoun. ®

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