Senteq CEO Jonathon Fisk talks to Mark Jones.
ARN: How did the company come into being?
Fisk: We started back in 1987 when the industry was going through its immature stage. I saw an opportunity in the PC market and spent six months working on business strategies and getting investment support before launching Senteq in October.
What is your company's main focus?
We design, install and manage network infrastructures, design desktop systems, and offer project management and ongoing maintenance. We also advise customers on how to build Web sites and e-business solutions.
Senteq's differentiators are our ability to change, our customer centricity and of course our people.
How are you integrating services into the business?
A significant proportion of our business is services and that is the major source of our income. We conduct network infrastructure and solutions-based services, which are our primary offerings.
Who are your typical customers?
We have a good mix in the mid-size and large corporate arenas.
What areas of the industry are you keeping a close watch on?
Obviously the Internet and e-business fundamentally haven't even started to have an impact, as it will in the next few years. We are focused on enabling our customers to take advantage of the Internet from the infrastructure point of view and the process point of view. That is, how businesses will change their internal processes to use e-business.
What is your company's greatest challenge?
Our business challenge would be to continually reinvent ourselves, while at the same time building on our expertise. Also, attracting and retaining good people across teams and projects is a challenge.
Compared to five years ago, we now contract out much of what we used to do [in the lower-end PC business]. So we must operate to stay ahead of the technology wave.
How would you describe your management outlook?
Our philosophy is based on giving people the scope to allow them to succeed, using a team-based approach and allowing our people to make mistakes. Every business requires a different approach at different stages of its growth, and the skills that are required are different. There are times when the business needs a hands-off approach [from senior management] and there are other times when hands-on is needed. Managers need to be flexible.
What is your attitude to partnering?
We stay focused by building up areas of expertise and partnering. Clearly our role as an integrator is to enable our partners. It really is impossible to be an expert at everything so we need to partner.
What is your five-year company outlook?
We want to take a leadership role. There is massive change happening in our industry and we want to be right at the front of it.
Senteq is also determined to develop a name is the e-business arena.
Based: St Leonards, NSW
Staff: 200 nationwide
Turnover: $125 million in 1998
Growth rate: It has doubled in size over the last three years