From car wash to communications

From car wash to communications

IPL Communications' Dean Joscelyne talks to ARN.

What was your first job?

I went to a boarding school and had to rely on my parents for pocket money. There was never enough, it was usually gone in the first month of term. Teachers wouldn't allow us to get part-time jobs but with a couple of mates I convinced the school to let us set up a car washing business. We bought detergent and chamois leathers and marketed via our classmates. Within weeks we were spending Friday afternoons washing up to 40 cars. We charged $1 per car and donated half of the profits to missionaries in Papua New Guinea. Couldn't say we made much more than tuck shop money, but I learned some basic business skills.

How did you end up in the IT industry?

With the deregulation of telecommunications in the early 1990s I joined Optus in the telemarketing area. We used to sit on the phone all day ringing people to let them know Optus was in their area.

How did you progress to where you are today?

I moved into Optus direct sales, where I spent five years learning to sell. I was initially selling to large business, then managing tier-one accounts. I ended up leaving to make my fortune during dotcom. I spent a few years running small enterprises and start-ups before joining IPL in 2004. I spent 12 months working on the strategy and carrier engagement before taking the head role within its Communications business.

What do you like about your current job?

I work with a great team in an industry that's evolving at amazing speed. We are always challenging traditional business models and investing in new areas not usually addressed by a distributor. The IPL Professional Services team and our Enterprise Solutions group are great examples of changing the rules and helping channel partners to differentiate.

What is the biggest achievement of your career?

Working in my current environment, setting a new direction for the business and watching the strategy start to develop momentum and deliver results.

What will be the 'next big thing' in the industry?

Transitioning from the current hardware and software products we supply to new server-based soft switches. This is the way the industry is headed and for IPL it means significant investment in training and education for our reseller base. Security is progressively more important with more VoIP solutions being implemented. With increasingly mobile workforces, government, corporates and now SMEs are beginning to implement end-point security that includes access to VoIP devices. We see security as an obvious extension of the IP solutions currently marketed via our channels.

What is the main focus for your company this year?

We will continue to invest in our existing reseller base, while looking for new partners to expand our geographical coverage and market reach. Of particular interest are resellers and integrators focused on medium to large customers. Our carrier relationships are also a focus area with several projects underway.

What do you do when you are not at work?

I'm currently renovating a property which can easily consume a whole weekend, but when I have the time I like to catch up with friends.

Do you like gadgets? If so, what is your favourite?

My favourite work gadget would have to be any series 60 Nokia mobile phone. I currently use the N70 and N90. My favourite home gadget would be my home cinema and Microsoft Xbox - great for when I can't sleep.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

During primary school I wanted to be a pilot in the RAAF. By high school I was focused on becoming a stock broker. By university I knew I wanted to be in a leadership role somewhere.

If you weren't in IT, what would you be doing now?

I'd give managing a Formula One racing team a go for a couple of seasons.

What is your biggest ambition?

Short-term ambition is to see what we are building here at IPL succeed and then work towards a successful sale of the business. Long term, I'd like to continue working in the industry building something to be remembered by.

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