Five-minute interview: David Parcell, Verint Systems

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Five-minute interview: David Parcell, Verint Systems

MicroScope puts its questions to David Parcell, managing director, Verint Systems EMEA

What is the best/worst advice you have received and from whom?

The best advice I received was when Verint's CEO Dan Bodner persuaded me to join the company. Back then I had never really thought about analytics or actionable intelligence. Now, eight years later, we are a leading enterprise software company, and our solutions are used by more than 10,000 organisations around the world. The worst piece of advice was to buy Enron shares - fortunately I did not buy too many.

What is the best book you have ever read?

Anything by Tom Sharpe is good. Most recently I have been enjoying Geraint Anderson's Cityboy, an insider's view of what actually went on in the City and a real insight into why things went so wrong in our financial services sector.

Tell us something most people do not know about you

I was lucky enough to go to Millfield School in Somerset, where I had the opportunity to gain early leadership experience. Being able to develop confidence and maturity there gave me a real head start.

What is your most elusive goal?

I would love to reduce my golf handicap. Like Barack Obama, I play off a 16 handicap - it would be great to get it down to six.

Where is the one place you would like to visit before you die?

Like many golf enthusiasts, my dream is to visit the Augusta National course in Georgia where they hold the US Masters tournament.

What must you do before you die?

Visiting Augusta would be great; playing in the tournament would be even better.

Which bit of technology would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

Probably my Blackberry. It is great for work and e-mails, but it is equally important for keeping up with sports scores. It is surprising just how quickly we have all come to rely on being connected all the time.

What temptation can you not resist?

Six o'clock on a warm evening, a pint of cold Guinness: who could resist that?

Who helped you get to where you are today?

Succeeding in a professional career requires real support, and I have always been lucky to have had the support and understanding of my wife and family. I will also always be grateful to my school economics tutor, who helped inspire the enthusiasm that led me to study economics and law at university.

What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now?

My first car was an ex-police Mini, which is very different from the Bentley Continental I drive today. Looking back, I remember being really excited to get my first car, and I felt the same way when the Bentley was delivered. Some things never change.

What do you believe in most?

Integrity is so important, both in business and in your personal life. It is not a quality that you can always spot immediately, but over time it shines through in terms of the values people hold and the actions they take. It makes all the difference in business, and I hope it is a quality that people would recognize in me.

Do you have any pets? If so, what are they and what are their names?

Two cats - Tiggy and Sooty. They came from a cat rescue home.

If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be and why?

It would have to be Tiger Woods. He has an incredible talent, but what is most impressive is how he applies it so consistently. Even when he is not on top form he always manages to be a contender.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?

It would be wrong to name names, but there is a certain procurement manager out there who I would be happy not to spend any more time with.

Describe yourself in one sentence

Someone who is committed, loyal and always delivers.

Why are you good at your job?

For a combination of reasons I hope. I am lucky that we have built up a really strong team here at Verint over the past eight years; we work hard and we trust each other, and that makes a real difference. Hopefully I am also experienced enough to adapt to changing market conditions - it is a lot easier to manage through the good times, but it is in more challenging situations, such as today's economy, that you really need to prove yourself.

If you were shipwrecked, who would you like to have with you and why?

My wife, Stephanie, and my two sons, Thomas and Hugo. Together I am sure we could look after ourselves.

Name three items (smaller than a fridge) that you would like to have with you if you were shipwrecked

A set of golf clubs would keep me busy, something that could help me get all the balls back would be useful, and a small body-board for fun.

If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be?

I would like to be a lion - they are known as the king of the beasts, but they are also the only cats that are social rather than solitary.

If a grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla decided to have a no holds barred fight, which would you put your money on and why?

I am not sure that betting on animals fighting is politically correct these days. Anyhow, gorillas live in Africa and grizzly bears in North America, so fortunately it is not something that is too likely. If I had to choose, I would probably go with the bear as it can kill with a single swipe of its paw.

Do you prefer cities or the countryside?

Somewhere in between. I like the activity and community of town life, but I would miss the peace you get in the country.

Describe your perfect night out

A good meal with friends and family at my favorite restaurant in Quinta do Lago in Portugal. Excellent food, plenty of wine, and conversation stretching into the night.

What would be your perfect holiday?

It would have to be a golfing holiday, with challenging courses and great scenery.

Sum up the IT channel in one sentence

It is an essential route to market for the technology industry and - from a vendor perspective - it is a channel that works best when both parties invest in the relationship for long-term success.

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