Making a flying start

Making a flying start

AppSense vice-president of sales A/NZ, Sean Walsh, has relished the opportunity to grow the vendor’s local presence. He spoke to ARN about the challenges of building a start-up, centralised computing and his dreams of flying.


What was your first job?

My first job was in the family business. We come from farming stock and had a few thousand sheep and a few hundred cattle, as well as a hotel and butcher shop. At some stage or another I worked at all of these. If you think of the TV series and theatre show, Fawlty Towers, the hotel we owned was like that in many ways - my father is a very eccentric man.

How did you end up in the IT industry?

When I left university in the UK, it was at a time of slowdown in the economy and I was working in retail management, managing supermarkets. I responded to an ad in the paper and joined an IT networking company called Cabletron. I worked with them for two years before moving to Australia. I started in distribution with Express Data in Sydney and stayed there for a while before joining Citrix and subsequently AppSense.

How did you progress to where you are today?

It's the result of a series of role changes as I felt I wanted to do other things. When I started out in Australia I was a product manager for Express Data, which was OK at but I was a better sales person than a product manager so I was given the role of BDM for Express Data's Citrix platform. Then I wanted to move back to Melbourne and Citrix had a suitable position available, so I took up the role of channel manager for southern region. From there an opportunity arose with a start-up called AppSense. I've been with AppSense for about five years now.

What do you like about your current job?

We've got a relatively vibrant and strong channel with hundreds of customers and we're continuing to grow. I've been given the autonomy to build a successful business as opposed to acting as a micromanager which is what tends to happen with small operations for overseas companies.

What's the biggest achievement of your career?

It's been building AppSense to where it is - we're now recognised as a leading provider of VDI [virtual desktop infrastructure] and Citrix solutions and our customer base is growing exponentially. There's half a dozen good people working with us now, we've recently added more people and there's more people to be hired yet! We've built a lot of strong customer relationships and large reference sites. When I joined AppSense it was just a start-up - it's very rewarding to see clients who appreciate our solutions.

What are some of the challenges building a channel as a start-up as opposed to an established vendor?

Starting a channel for a new vendor is a very exciting prospect. For this journey to be successful you need to make sure the vendor has a valid solution that has been tried and tested overseas, with established customers and sales. From a local level the starting point is to sign up a relevant distributor who is the correct fit. A distribution partner will very quickly tell you if it will fly. This, combined with existing channel contacts, should mean a quick start. The key moving forward is to ensure the channel model is correct and there are ongoing services sales for our partners. This leads to increased mutual investment.

Follow Us

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments