In just a couple of months, Lotte Maxwell-Bayly will take on a brand new role - as a mother. For now, her only job continues to be as HP channel manager in New Zealand, a role as challenging as it is rewarding for the Denmark-born Kiwi.
Maxwell-Bayly joined HP nearly a decade ago, where she has held a number of different positions "from project work merging Compaq and HP support, to managing our channel services delivery programmes, to the role I have now managing our technology services channel business in the enterprise group". " HP is a great place to work with so many career opportunities. You certainly never get bored here," she says.
Maxwell-Bayly started her career as a technical support agent for Lotus/IBM, before doing a stint as a head-hunter for a London based recruitment consultancy specialising in leading technologies.
All her roles are far from what she expected: as she was growing up her career aspirations were around subjects like law and psychology.
"Seriously weird for a little girl I know, but I have always been interested in human behaviour and really enjoy a good debate... I also always secretly wanted to be a cowgirl, but that was always a dream more than reality as I didn’t know of anyone in Denmark still living in the wild, driving cattle... Riding horses for many years was about as close as I got," she adds.
These days, Maxwell-Bayly looks after HP's channel across New Zealand and spends most of her time developing strategies to grow the company's channel business.
She says she draws inspiration from many people around her every day.
"Two early mentors at HP were my then manager Tony Graziani, who taught me a few lessons in negotiating, patience and due diligence, and Andrew Seerden, a previous GM at HP who taught me how to lead by example and how to bring people together," she says. "On an international scale I admire Nelson Mandela greatly. Today I look to my manager and director of technology services NZ, Justin Corles and try to learn from his vast experience in international and local business management."
All these people have influenced and shaped the way Maxwell-Bayly does business with HP partners. Her best advice can be summed up in three simple words: Listen, ask and learn.
"Everyone makes mistakes and no one has all the answers all the time. People will forgive a great deal, but they will not forget negligence, so do what you say you are going to do and be honest," she says. "I think these apply to all industries and life in general, but in the IT channel in particular our business connections are largely built on trust and value. I genuinely pride myself on building strong partnerships with the best resellers in the industry and I can only do that by following my own advice."
The channel manager says there is a "bit of a lull" in the industry these days. "Some of the run rate business has dropped off, but I am seeing a healthy number of large deals in our pipeline and we are doing well with our loyal partners. We are still growing year on year so I think what we are experiencing right now is the market adapting to new solutions mainly cloud and taking their time to get it right before investing," she adds.
For the next few months, the focus will be on executing HP's ServiceOne partner programme strategies, she says. "The key message is on profitability and to simplify and differentiate. We have done what we said we would do this year and we will continue to deliver new and exciting aspects of the programme that reward and enable our partners."
Where do you live now and where did you grow up and have lived before?
I live in east Auckland, Howick. I grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark and have also lived in London for two years before moving to NZ in my early twenties.
Are you married? Kids?
I have a great husband, Nicholas, and we are expecting our first child in November.
What are you currently reading?
Fishing for Starsby Bryce Courtney and a lot of baby magazines to try and prepare for the near future.
Do you have any favourite sports?
Soccer to play and watch. Rugby to watch live, but not play. The one game I participated in when we held a channel challenge a few years back was enough for me. Too many injuries to count. Fun, but far too brutal to play.
What's your favourite gadget?
I’m still searching for the perfect windows compatible gadget. I’m not an Apple devotee as I need to be a able to sync my work and I don’t have time nor patience to trawl the net for applications that will let me do that. It has to be easy and fast. I’m currently eyeing up the next generation of HP's Envy Ultrabooks and keeping an eye on PC World's gadget reviews. Until then, my Panasonic noise cancellation headphones are top of my list. They make long haul flights bearable.
And your favourite website?
Google. Google for anything, maps, directions, GPS, images, info. It does exactly what technology should do; make life easier.
What's your drink of choice?
It was trim lattes in the morning and NZ wine in the evening. These days however, being pregnant it seems to be juice juice and more juice. I am looking forward to a glass of Marlborough sav in the summer.
What do you think has been the single most important advance in technology?
Wireless technology. The web changed the world and wireless is constantly changing how we use technology. Most of us use wireless technology every day and of course many of HP’s Solutions are underpinned by our hardware and services around this, both in our enterprise business and our consumer business.
If you weren't in technology, what would you be doing?
Probably trying to break into IT. Maybe a corporate lawyer specialising in IT patents. The case between Apple and Samsung would have been interesting...
How do you keep the work/leisure balance?
It is a constant effort. HP is a flexible employer, but also a demanding company in constant evolution. I’m lucky to work for a company that has a flexible work policy, but ultimately it is up to the employee themselves to make it happen. I find that I work extreme hours and take on too much if I don’t consciously make an effort not to. Delegating and asking for help along with some very strong planning is key to having a life outside of work. I am very social by nature and enjoy knowing the people I do business with. The many events I get to attend working with the channel are often enjoyable occasions for me and I don’t always see it as just work. On that note I am off to the NZ Fashion Week now, courtesy of a partner of ours.