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James Baker, former EMEA product management director at Insight, has confirmed that he will join Softcat’s ranks in two months’ time as Alliance Director, where he will be heading up the management and optimisation of Softcat’s key vendor relationships.

Softcat’s new appointment follows a year that saw a 30% revenue growth, combined with a noticeable shift in many vendors’ offerings due to changing customer requirements.

Softcat’s aim is to attune itself even more closely with the essential task of matching customers’ evolving requirements to the business direction of its vendors.

James, who has previously worked for Insight, Veritas and Symantec, brings with him a wealth of experience and industry knowledge. He will manage partner strategy, relationships with several key vendors, supporting existing business, maximising marketing opportunities and optimising revenue. Many of Softcat’s major vendors are changing the way they do business with end users, for example, companies such as Microsoft and Adobe are moving their customers to mainly cloud-based models. James’ role will include the management of these vendor relationships, to keep Softcat’s activities closely aligned to the customers’ and vendors’ needs.

Following James’ appointment to the team of Softcat’s directors, Colin Brown, Softcat’s managing director said: “James’ appointment is a huge boost for us – his reputation precedes him, he’s a well-known talent in the industry and already knows several of the other Softcat directors. As a member of Microsoft’s global Partner Executive Board, he’s bringing with him a vast network of senior contacts, and years of experience managing business relationships. In addition to this he’s a genuinely nice guy and a good fit for Softcat’s slightly off-beat working culture. I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Chairman Martin Hellawell also welcomed James to Softcat: “James joining us couldn’t have come at a better time – customers are buying in different ways, and, with an official Alliance Director taking the reins at our end, we can help our vendors adjust to these changes. Softcat aspire to be the partner of choice for our vendor partners and we strive to be the most effective and enjoyable company to work with. We’re confident that James’ activities will further improve our relationships with vendors, and ultimately grow our business. I expect we’ll also learn a lot from having a fresh perspective.”