One on One: with WatchGuard Technologies’ Anthony Daniel

One on One: with WatchGuard Technologies’ Anthony Daniel

Spots key opportunities to grow the business in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Anthony Daniel (WatchGuard)

Anthony Daniel (WatchGuard)

Credit: WatchGuard.

Always dress for the job you want, not the job you have, is one piece of advice WatchGuard Technologies regional director of Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands, Anthony Daniel takes in his stride. 

After landing a part-times sales gig with Vodafone, Daniel was inspired to progress his career in to the ICT realm, leading him to WatchGuard today. 

What was your first job?

After finishing high school in 2003, I enrolled in a network engineering course at university and landed a part-time sales gig at Vodafone’s Hurstville store, in Sydney. A couple of friends were working for telcos at the time and, hearing from them how the mobile market was going crazy, I decided to give it a go. It was good pocket money but also provided me with an excellent grounding in technology and the sales process – they offered great training and lots of programs to help you hone your skills. Prior to that time, I had no idea that I’d have any talent for selling but I managed to win quite a few awards during my years there, including one for the most post-paid contracts.

How did you get started in the IT industry and progress to where you are today?

I vividly remember learning about Silicon Valley in high school and that piqued my interest in pursuing ICT as a career. After clocking up some experience with Vodafone, I went to another telco, Vocus Group, and spent nearly 10 years there. That role gave me the opportunity to sell a wider range of telecoms products and services to small and medium-sized businesses, and to move into management. 

In turn, that experience enabled me to move into the enterprise sphere at Oracle, where I spent a couple of years as a senior sales manager, learning how to manage teams and programs for a global business. 

My next role was a regional one which saw me heading up sales for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands at SolarWinds. 

Then, in March 2021, I jumped at the chance to manage that same territory for WatchGuard and helping them develop and improve their local offering. It’s been an incredibly rewarding journey so far!

What has been your biggest business mistake and the lessons you’ve learnt from that experience?

My first attempt to crack into the corporate world at age 21 saw me learn a really important lesson. I succeeded in scoring an interview with an ICT company then shot myself in the foot when I arrived 15 minutes late, thanks to a broken-down train, and a week early because I hadn’t bothered to check the date! That embarrassing experience taught me to be early and be prepared, always. 

Some equally useful advice I received around the same time was that you should always dress for the job you want, not the job you have, if you want to move up in the world. This came from an older associate who noted that I’d attended a business meeting with my top button undone. Lesson learnt – these days people joke that my suit and tie must be a onesie, so seldom do they see me wearing anything else!

What are some of your plans for the company in the coming months?

In the past couple of years, there have been big developments around the WatchGuard cloud platform. Following the acquisition of the Panda anti-virus suite in 2020, we have a cloud security solution and pushing that out to more customers in the A/NZ region is a priority. 

Meanwhile, mass adoption of the work from home model has created a great opportunity for us. Businesses are recognising they need greater protection and we’re seeing a lot of managed service providers integrating more security technologies into their standard offerings. 

WatchGuard’s suite of products addresses that need and by offering it to MSPs [managed service provider] on a pay-by-the-month basis, we’re helping our partners make the most of the opportunity too. We’re also planning to build out our platform for MSPs and to optimise our single pane of glass dashboard, making it even easier for them to onboard and manage multiple customers simultaneously.

What are some of your biggest ambitions – personally and professionally?

Professionally, my ambition is to see WatchGuard grow across all industry vertical markets and to increase its penetration in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands – I see a big opportunity for us to make our mark in those territories. 

Personally, I want to build my property portfolio. Many of my good friends from younger years went into construction and property development and I’ve always been interested in the challenges and rewards associated with buying and developing land. My dream is to find a nice location somewhere in Australia where I can build a getaway place; somewhere to really relax and unwind. With the market where it is right now, that’s challenging, but hopefully it can happen in the next couple of years.

What has been the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

It was given to me by a veteran CEO. At the time, I was really young and I asked him for his advice; what he’d tell someone who was wanting to move up the corporate ladder and maybe become a CEO themselves one day. He replied that it was not about being liked, it was about being respected. You won’t succeed unless your colleagues trust in your knowledge, believe you have the right values and respect you as someone who can steer the ship capably. I’ve kept that insight top of mind in my career to date and it’s helped guide my actions in all sorts of times.

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