Print.IT Reseller - issue 110

01732 759725 INTERVIEW 20 In 2023, PrintIT Reseller is celebrating ten years in print. In a series of exclusive interviews over the next year, we’re inviting industry veterans to share their experiences over the past decade, what they’ve learned, and the highs and the lows of our unique and challenging industry. Here, Tony Milford, Head of Business Development at Asolvi, shares his thoughts A decade in print PITR: What has been the high point of the decade? TM: Wow! Probably taking the leap and re-mortgaging my house to raise the funds to buy out the original founders of Vantage Computing in 2010, even if it is slightly more than 10 years ago. I’d been involved with the business as a reseller and then Sales Manager since 1999, but 2010 was probably the pivotal moment. Launching Vantage Online in 2017 is probably a close second, followed by our acquisition by Asolvi in 2019. PITR: And the low point? TM: Watching, as my wife lost both of her parents to cancer in a cruelly short space of time, was probably as helpless as I’ve ever felt personally. PITR: What (or who) has had the greatest impact in the sector in the last 10 years? TM: The internet and cloud computing has been the single most impactful phenomenon overall, I think. For some, it will be the catalyst for reinvention and success, for others I fear, it will hasten their long-term irrelevance and accelerate their demise. PITR: If you could change one thing about the last decade, what would it be? TM: Tricky! The long tail of the wider effects of COVID are going to be with us for a while, and the seriousness with which we are looking to address the effects of climate change will certainly be seen as woefully inadequate by our children and grandchildren. But then again, I’ve always tried to get my children to view hindsight in the same way as Sophocles, “I have no desire to suffer twice, in reality, and then in retrospect.” < Oedipus Rex>. PITR: What has been your proudest moment of the past 10 years? TM: Oh, that one is easy. Watching my kids grow up into the hard-working, thankful, and well-rounded individuals they are, tops everything else by a million miles. Although I’m also quietly proud of the number of the ‘old’ Vantage team who are now thriving at Asolvi as well. PITR: Sum up the decade in three words. TM: Good. Bad. Ugly. PrintIT Reseller (PITR): You’ve been working in the print and IT industry for more than ten years. What led you to enter the sector? Tony Milford (TM): I began my career in asset finance with GE, but if anyone is to blame for my entry into the print world then you would have to lay that at the door of Rod Tonna-Barthet at Kyocera. Rod employed me as a junior BDM at Schroder Leasing in the 1990s. PITR: What was your first job? TM: My first ‘proper’ job, post-education, was as a door-to-door salesman in Australia. Having run out of travelling funds, I pounded the streets of Sydney trying to sell B2B advertising for a medical handbook publisher. A great way to condition yourself into never fearing a ‘no’! Tony Milford