Podcast: The Ghost of Tom Joad

Alistair Mackenzie talks with Rob Anderson, CEO of Pinnacle Business Systems, based in Oklahoma, USA.

“Well the highway is alive tonight
But nobody’s kidding nobody about where it goes
I’m sitting down here in the campfire light
Searching for the ghost of Tom Joad”

“It’s hard, it’s expensive and it takes a lot of time”

Rob’s story of constant business evolution is reminiscent of the struggles of the Joad family, the collective protagonist of the great Steinbeck novel, The Grapes of Wrath.

In a reversal of the Okie migration after the Dust Bowl depression, Rob describes his journey from California to Oklahoma to build a business and transform it from successful IBM reseller to independent service provider.

Where once migrants left for the golden fruits of California, Oklahoma is a place where Oil derricks can spring up on small land holdings and the population is growing again. Rob’s team at Pinnacle Business Systems is helping enterprises exploit the new oil; data.

Having started on a three-year MSP evolution programme he is staying the course, because just like the book’s hero Tom Joad said, there can be no turning back.

With a strong background in accounting, Rob gives a different perspective on the changing landscape of the IT channel and what he feels is needed to be successful.

Capturing the spirit of the Oklahoma pioneers, the early farmers of the “Sooner State”, Rob understands the maxim “you reap what you sow”. Listen to the podcast to hear Rob tell a story of managing risk and taking tough decisions. Despite the toughness, Rob actively manages and nurtures the business culture. He realises a business is like a family working together to ride out the times of drought and celebrate the bountiful harvests.

Patience is a virtue in the Sooner State.

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