Speakers List - CRN Conference MSP North

2018 Speakers

Craig Aston

Chief Operations Officer

Celerity Ltd

Craig Aston, a Chartered Accountant, has been in sales and business leadership roles within the IT industry for nearly 20 years. He spent 14 years at IBM, both working for IBM Global Financing (sales and sales management roles) and also in IBM's Systems Group as a sales leader.

Since February 2017, Craig has been Chief Operating Officer of Celerity Limited, a VAR and MSP offering traditional infrastructure and services, both fully managed and cloud. Craig's role encompasses strategic and operational responsibility for all areas of the business, including sales, technical, finance and business operations. Celerity has been in business for 15 years, starting as a traditional VAR, but has evolved over the past few years into a combined VAR and services business.

Craig is married with 3 boys, lives in Wilmslow in Cheshire and is a keen golfer and tennis player. 

Julian Bannister

Senior Sales Manager


Julian Bannister is a senior sales manager in EMEA for Procurri. He has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry. He is responsible for growing and managing all service sales within the EMEA region, and engagement within global strategic accounts and MSP's. Julian began his IT career in 1998 for an IBM VAR before moving into lifecycle services in 2000. Julian managed a sales team at Canvas Systems which was eventually acquired by Avnet Services in 2012.

Julian moved to Procurri in 2014 in order to assist our global strategic partners position, adding extra Procurri services into their customers helping them grow wallet share and increase their margins.

Richard Brown

Director EMEA Channels and Alliances

CloudHealth Technologies

Richard Brown is Director for Channels and Alliances EMEA, where he oversees CloudHealths' channel strategy throughout the region. This involves working closely with MSP channel partners to maximise sales, on-board and manage relationships and ensure CloudHealths' platform and partner services meet the needs of their customers.

He has been in this role since December 2017, after joining from Arbor Networks where he supported EMEA and OEM partner sales for three years. Prior to this he held numerous positions in companies including Riverbed, Cisco and Brocade in a career spanning 20 years in IT sales and project management.

Richard is a regular press commentator on critical aspects of the evolving security landscape, often quoted in media outlets such as SCMagazine UK, The Telegraph, Computer Weekly and CRN.

Patrick Boydell

Sales Director


Patrick Boydell is Sales Director in EMEA for Procurri. He has over 16 years of experience in the IT industry. He is responsible for growing and managing all hardware and service sales within the EMEA region. Patrick began his IT career in 2001 as an IBM Unix hardware trader for Tindirect Ltd in the UK.

At Tindirect, Patrick ran the highest grossing product team for over ten years, covering Unix Server and Enterprise Storage products.

Patrick graduated from Cardiff University in 2000 with a Bachelor in Social Sciences.

John Coulston

Director of Partnerships and Alliances


John Coulston is an award-winning marketing, channel and alliances leader. John is responsible for our partner business in EMEA. He excels at building dynamic teams, helping partners expand their geographic capabilities and exploring new technologies and their implications on new business.

John joined Rackspace in 2016 from SaaS start-up Vend - a cloud-based retail software provider - following 14 years at Dell in marketing, channel and alliance management roles. As Director of Channel for the Emerging Markets, he was responsible for channel and partner business across 120 countries as Dell made its first successful forays into a channel-focused business.

John graduated from Bournemouth University in 1995, where his dissertation was on the exciting potential of the-then ‘information super highway'. Today, he's just as excited by new technologies, in particular, container orchestration and the potentials and pitfalls around the Internet of Things (IoT) and AI.

James Cox

Channel Manager


James Cox is the Channel Manager at TechQuarters, a highly successful ‘born in the cloud' Microsoft Gold partner, coupled with the Office 365 user training business, 365 Cloud Academy.

James and TechQuarters are the recipients of numerous awards and accreditations; most recently being crowned CRN's ‘Cloud Services Provider of the Year - 2017', as well as being awarded the title of ‘World Microsoft Cloud Partner of the Year for SMB,' back in 2013. James is also the recipient of the Bronze Sandler Sales accreditation and is on track to receive Silver this coming year.

James has a vast array of experience within the technology industry spanning nearly 10 years. Originally Head of Technical, James is now responsible for heading up the Sales Team and the 365 Cloud Academy team.

Osgar de Laat

Area VP Service Providers EMEA


Osgar de Laat leads a Business Development Team in the field of managed service providers, covering the EMEA region. Before his current role, he held a number of senior leadership positions in Sales Account and Channel Management for technology providers. He is also co-founder of his own successful software company and has over 20 years of experience in the IT field.

Osgar de Laat has a university degree in business administration and information management.

Derek Jones

Managing Director


Derek is well known within the UK's technology channel having worked in various senior roles since the mid 80s. After initially growing a successful dealership and then being the founder of the UKs first commercial dealer group, Derek eventually spent six years as Chairman of the channel trade body, the Professional Computing Association (PCA), alongside serving as IT Channel Director of the Integra dealer group.

Having spent a short time in 2008 at Synaxon AG, working at the parent company, Derek founded and launched Synaxon UK in January 2009. Synaxon UK is today the largest and most successful dealer group in the UK channel, with over 600 member companies. Synaxon's services and support tools, as well as their unique information and channel procurement platform (EGIS) are designed to enhance MSPs business in the UK market.

Erica Jones

Marketing Manager

Bamboo Technology Group

Erica Jones is the Marketing Manager at Bamboo Technology Group, a Cheltenham based telecommunications and IT MSP. She has worked in the industry and the business for 13 years and has been integral in the branding and transitioning of Bamboo from a well-established telecoms Service Provider to an ICT MSP, and the re-positioning from a perceived cost centre to a growth enabler. She works across both the direct side of the business and Bamboo's own channel partner programme.

In addition to her marketing responsibilities, Erica takes a lead role in product development and onboarding, including the launch of a regional full fibre project to Gloucestershire. Her skillset, experience and overall knowledge of the business and market means she is also involved with strategic, commercial and operational projects, as well as internal development, culture and values.

Gregg Lalle

VP International Sales and Strategy


Gregg has worked in the technology arena for over two decades and has been with ConnectWise since 2010. During his tenure at ConnectWise, he has been integral in developing and growing three different routes to market into thriving multi-million dollar lines of businesses. Over the last few years, he has been focused exclusively on the establishment and growth of ConnectWise's International Business. During this time, he has overseen the opening of our offices in London and Sydney and currently manages a global staff nearing 100 colleagues.

In his free time Gregg enjoys traveling, live music, sports, and photography.

David McLeman



David McLeman is CEO and founder of Ancoris, an award-winning cloud services provider and one of the leading Google Cloud Premier Partners in the UK. David has an extensive background in enterprise IT and internet services having held senior management positions with pioneering companies across the last three generations of IT; the open systems era with Sequent Computer Systems (now IBM); the internet era with Netstore plc, the first British Software-as-a-Service company to be quoted on the London Stock Exchange and now at Ancoris helping clients accelerate their digital transformation with cloud and mobile solutions.

Todd McQuilkin



As our industry matures, and we all become more like clones, our ability to deliver great service will be a key differentiator.

Todd believes it's going to become one of only two USPs that an MSP/ITSP will be able to use in their competitive armoury, the other being our people. For this reason alone, tech companies should be looking at the customer experience as one of their most significant metrics.

Todd specialises in service delivery and customer experience strategies and will be sharing with the audience why the customer experience must be the key KPI for measuring success of your business.

Todd is CEO of Air-IT Ltd an award-winning UK MSP that was one of the early adaptors of PSA and FFA for IT & Communication services.

Todd is a senior consultant at Air-MSP a business that helps aspiring UK technology companies become true MSP's. In all their engagements Air-IT is used as a lab to authenticate their work.

Alasdair Rettie

Technical Director

Pinacl Solutions UK Ltd

Alasdair Rettie is responsible for the technical direction and strategy within the company, with a specific focus on identifying innovative approaches and transformative technologies that positively disrupt the norm to the benefit of our customers. Current focus areas include the design and implementation of Smart City solutions and the effective use of the Internet of Things to deliver real world benefits through the digital transformation journey.

With over 30 years' experience in the networking and communications industry and a background in electronic engineering, Alasdair has held a wide range of technical management roles covering the design of fibre optic and networking equipment and large scale network infrastructure solutions both in the public and private sectors.

Paul Stringfellow

Technical Director

Gardner Systems Plc

Paul is an experienced technology professional and is Technical Director at Data Management Consultancy, Gardner Systems Plc. He works with businesses of all types to help them develop technology strategy and increasingly to help them manage, secure and gain benefit from their data assets.

Paul is very involved in the tech community presenting at a number of conferences and user group events. Paul also produces a wide range of business focused technology content from his blog techstringy.com, the Tech Interviews Podcast (podcast.techstringy.com) and a number of regular columns for industry technology sites.

You can find Paul on twitter @techstringy

Andy Sullivan

Partner Business Manager


Andy has worked in the technology industry for nearly 20 years, gaining knowledge and experience working across the channel from roles working at Microsoft and West Coast and is now a Partner Business Development Manager with cloud and software management specialists, SoftwareONE.

Today Andy focuses on working with companies primarily within Microsoft's ecosystem that are transforming and seeking opportunities to create new revenues streams through the new licensing and hosting models now available to them.

Andy is married with two children and prior to becoming a seasoned cloud and software licensing specialist had a professional footballer career with Wimbledon and Southampton.

Kevin Timms



Kevin has over 30 years experience in the IT industry as both a service provider and CIO. In 2013 he co-founded an IT support company, Streamwire, before becoming CEO in 2015. He subsequently presided over the acquisition of EACS in 2017. A successful turnaround followed and the business is now profitable and growing strongly, with annual revenues now exceeding £20m.

Kevin built his experience at the Ford Motor Company, beginning his career there in 1986. He rose through the ranks of the organisation, to occupy a number of senior executive positions in IT. These included CIO roles for Jaguar Land Rover, North America and Europe. His final role was head of the company's global software delivery organisation, responsible for 400 IT projects and programmes with an annual spend of over £500m. During his time at Ford, Kevin also delivered major IT restructuring and process renewals across the business.

His experience in implementing and running IT at a large multinational organisation means Kevin is exceptionally well-versed in the IT requirements of the modern business. These skills ensure that EACS is always best-placed to serve the needs of the mid-sector UK market, and that the company remains on a growth trajectory.

Alongside his role as CEO, Kevin also advises a number of other companies, and is Chairman of the Trustees for the British Motor Museum.

Kate Wallyn

Marketing Manager

Oryx Align

With 13+ years' experience in the IT industry, Kate has spent her career building and driving strategic marketing plans aligned to business goals and objectives within varying budgets. Having spent 10 years with cyber security and networking technology integrator Brookcourt Solutions, Kate has experienced and been a part of significant organisational growth and success through some challenging times.

She then joined a transformation team within Capita, the UK's largest outsourcing business where she was involved in the creation and development of a strategic cyber security business and the positioning of a 3 pillar format comprising professional services, technology solutions and managed services.

Now at Oryx Align (May 2018), a thriving, vibrant and mature managed technology services provider, Kate will be responsible for building and implementing a marketing plan in line with the core business values and objectives. With a strong focus on client and partner relationships and communication, the business plan is geared heavily towards cyber security and protecting their clients from the cyber threats and vulnerabilities that exist in today's volatile business environment. 

Tom Wright

Senior Reporter


Tom Wright is senior reporter at CRN, a position he has held since April. Tom joined CRN as a reporter in May 2016, having previously covered the specialist finance market for various publications. Prior to this, Tom graduated in Journalism from the University of Winchester.

Andrea Babbs

Channel Manager

FuseMail UK

Andrea has been in the IT services industry for over 18 years, working for some of the biggest players in the market. For the past six years she has run the Channel Team at FuseMail UK and Ireland with a focus on adding value to the core products and services, improving the partner experience and driving new sales through the FuseMail Partner Network. With a large portfolio of products to manage - email security, continuity and archiving, web security and endpoint protection - Andrea works closely with her team of UK-based Partner Account Managers.


Doug Woodburn


CRN & Channelnomics

Doug Woodburn is Editor for CRN magazine and its website, ChannelWeb.co.uk. As well as producing daily news and features for the brand, Doug also manages the team of reporters and their output, and has a growing role in driving the CRN Intelligence side of the business. He has been a member of the CRN team since January 2007 and prior to that worked for pan-European IT channel magazine IT Europa.