CAREERS: Job interview - Peter Kokinakos

Name Peter Kokinakos

Job Marketing director

Company Cognos

Age 39

How did you get into marketing?

I joined Cognos as an analyst/programmer. I moved through most of the

technical roles and became product manager, responsible for the product

message. It was a logical extension to take on the company


What was your motivation for joining Cognos?

I was at the Australian Stock Exchange and couldn't see where I could

apply the business knowledge I was gaining, unless I moved to another

stock exchange or to a broker's office. At the time, Cognos was better

known for a fourth-generation language called PowerHouse and was

dominating the market. I thought that if I learned this new language,

I'd be more marketable. I joined for what I thought would be two years.

13 years later, I'm still here.

What are the challenges Cognos faces in its sector?

Keeping ahead of the number two player, extending the lead at every

opportunity, not becoming arrogant and keeping an eye on the small

companies that might be tomorrow's giants. And keeping an eye on today's

giants that might want to play in our space.

What is the greatest challenge facing the IT sector?

Establishing the return on investment to the stakeholders in their


Billions have been spent on IT and most companies are no closer to

having integrated information systems that capture and allow robust

reporting and analysis of all the customer touch points.

What was your latest marketing campaign?

Providing our customers with networking forums in the guise of quarterly

user groups and an annual conference. It's simply providing the

opportunity for our customers to talk to each other and learn from each


What do you enjoy most/least about your working environment?

Most - no two days hold the same challenges. Least - that there are no

good restaurants or pubs in Bracknell.

What individual has influenced you most in your career?

There was a sales trainer who was brought in to break down bad habits in

the sales force and teach all the right things to do. He brought

everything back to seeing the world from the customer's eyes . At the

end of this intensive week of training, we had no choice but to walk in

the customer's shoes, listen to their requirements and understand their


Where do you see yourself in ten years' time?

I think I'll probably be back in Australia, having worked in different

parts of Europe and North America. Greece holds a special attraction

because my roots stem from there.

What do you look for in the people you do business with?

A good sense of humour, attitude and intelligence.

What would be the one piece of career advice you would give?

Be prepared to change. If you resist it, you'll be left behind.

What has been your biggest achievement?

On the personal side, moving to the UK from Australia with my wife and

three kids and still being partly sane. On the work front, knowing that

I've played a part in establishing Cognos as the market leader,

especially in Asia Pacific where it's so much more challenging.

What do you do to unwind?

Golf, eating good food with great friends and beating my kids on the




Analyst, Australian Stock Exchange


Product manager, Cognos, Australia


Marketing director, Cognos Asia Pacific


Marketing director, Cognos UK


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