Liz Hatton's career started in the early 1990s with Financial Systems. From there she moved onto APC where her UPS industry career really took off. Her career included a stint as channel manager for APC and APC sales specialist at Westcon. A couple of months ago, Hatton joined UPS Power Solutions as the company's new strategic account manager.
Along with Aaron Gillon, Hatton heads the sales team for UPS Power Solutions' new Auckland branch, which the company recently opened in Penrose.
She says that, unlike many other businesses in New Zealand that are only just now coming out of stormy days, UPS Power "certainly hasn't seen any downturn."
"In fact, quite the opposite so I think it depends on what type of business you are in," she adds.
Hatton says she is passionate about the UPS industry, in which she has specialised over the years, and says she loves "being able to educate people about the importance of UPS and IT infrastructure."
"I am passionate about what I do. I enjoy both the technical and marketing parts of my job. I am a team player and enjoy learning and sharing knowledge," she says.
In her new role with UPS Power, Hatton says she will focus on working with Synnex to promote Eaton to the reseller community. "They are a very impressive distributor and have a great customer service focus," she adds. Now back in the company that she knows so well, she is getting acquainted with UPS Power's business. "The vast majority of my day would be spent either with resellers, Synnex or working on marketing plans with Eaton," she says. "But working in a small company means I could end up doing anything, which is great fun."
She says that every industry has its particular set of challenges and, in the case of UPS, it is a matter of educating people to its importance in the general IT and power ecosystem. "[The UPS industry] tends to be a bit neglected," says Hatton. "People don't really think about it until there is a power outage."
One of her goals in the new role is to work with resellers towards creating more awareness about the importance of UPS and get them to consider UPS solutions when reselling other solutions, such as networking products. UPS is, however, too specific to be successfully bundled with other projects without being the reseller looking at the particular solution and particular needs of the customer. "It is better to spec to the solution they are working on as it is very specific," she says.
Hatton says the UPS industry offers plenty of opportunities for growth and advises anyone getting into the industry to ask "lots of questions" and get "advice from people who have been in the industry for a while". "Learning by doing is not the best approach in the UPS industry," she says.
In spite of being part of an industry where men still rule, at least by the numbers, Hatton says there is no intimidation or any other challenge associated with the gender difference in her role. "As long as you know what you are doing, you are respected," she says.
She says running is simultaneously a way to clear her head and take her mind off work as well as a way of coming up with ideas for the business. "When you are running, you tend to clear your head. But sometimes you also get into that zone and end up start thinking about work and having good ideas for it," she says. Hatton is currently training for her next half marathon (the Onehunga Half Marathon on September 23) and says that having a goal like that in mind will keep her motivated throughout winter. It will also help her get out of the house and run in the frosty mornings before work.
Where do you live now and where did you grow up and have lived before?
I was born in Auckland and have lived here all my life most recently in Mt Albert.
Are you married? Kids?
Yes I am married and have one son.
What are you currently reading?
The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone.
Who is your mentor? Or someone you admire professionally?
I have worked with some very talented and highly respected people in the UPS industry. I try and use what I have learned from them every day.
When you were little, what did you think you would be when you grew up?
I had no idea but I became interested in IT in my twenties.
Do you have any favourite sports?
I enjoying watching most motorsports especially rallying.
What's your favourite gadget?
I am not really a gadget person.
And your favourite website?
I find LinkedIn very useful for keeping in contact.
What's your drink of choice?
Tea, hot chocolate and red wine.
What do you think has been the single most important advance in technology?
It has to be the internet.
If you weren't in technology, what would you be doing?
Something to do with motor sports.
How do you keep the work/leisure balance?
I try to keep fit by running on a regular basis and training for half marathons.