Arrow Fast Five: Q&A with Chris Turton

19 May 2020

Arrow’s Chris Turton has a unique role at Arrow, delivering solutions across HPE/Aruba and Palo Alto Networks. Get to know Chris and discover his passions beyond IT in this quick Q&A.

Arrow Fast 5 Chris Turton

1. As Arrow’s Technical Business Development Manager, what makes your role unique?

My role is a hybrid one that allows me to design and sell targeted solutions across leading technologies from HPE/Aruba and Palo Alto Networks. What makes this role unique is the focus on two major technology vendors, whereas most similar roles will have a focus on one vendor.

As a conduit between vendors and channel partners, I provide knowledge and experience in the sales cycle to help deliver the best possible outcome for end users. This means ensuring the solution meets the technical requirements and is designed and delivered as promised on time and within budget.

As the only distributor that sells both HPE/Aruba and Palo Alto Networks, we’re in a strong position to help partners gain a unique advantage that leverages our wider engineering resources for pre-sales scoping, demonstrations, configurations, technical delivery services and pricing.

2. What technology prediction do you feel most strongly about?

I believe the Internet of Things (IoT) will explode in full force in the next few years. The possibilities of IoT-enabled devices are endless.

Understanding the impact IoT devices will have on a corporate or home network will become the new normal for IT professionals moving forward.

As demand for interconnected devices surges, so too will the need to reduce or eliminate the security impact through smarter assessment of these devices. This will involve automatic profiling, identification and isolation of IoT devices to ensure they can exist on the network securely and without making the network environment vulnerable to attack.

Part of my role is to ensure that we have the best of breed solutions to address these risks using HPE/Aruba Clearpass NAC solution with Palo Alto Networks Next Generation Firewalls.

The Internet of Things brings many amazing products and possibilities with it, but you have to keep your eyes open along the way to ensure convenience and interoperability is not introduced quickly and easily at the expense of enterprise security and performance.

3. If you could bring back an old technology or tech-related past-time, what would it be and why?

I might be giving away my age now, but the drive-in theatre. With the introduction of streaming services, on-demand TV and unlimited internet plans, it is a shame drive-ins have become a thing of the past.

I would love to see the drive-in theatre return but with the technology of the 21st Century. Think Gold Class cinema but in the luxury of your own car. I imagine a retro theme made modern with the latest technology in sound, vision and convenience.

I think that would be a blast and a great place to go out again, with the added benefit of being responsible from a social distancing perspective in this new normal we now find ourselves in.

4. If you were to start your own YouTube channel, what would you make it about?

I would combine my love of teaching with my passion for astronomy to take my followers on a tour of the cosmos through the lens of a telescope using colour cameras and computer-controlled equipment.

I’ve designed and built a roll-off roof observatory in my backyard, which I use to take photos of nebula, star clusters, eclipses and planets any time there is a clear day or night. Once you get me started on the universe, it can be difficult to get me to stop.

5. Finally, what would you do if you weren’t working in IT?

I would be an astrophysicist or a professional astronomer. Having my own backyard observatory means I can now enjoy it any time from my home, remotely if necessary, while spending time with my family and still enjoying what I do for a day job at Arrow. The best of both worlds, really!

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