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Picking up pace

Picking up pace

Starting up your own distribution business is a challenge ICT Distribution’s managing director, Ben O’Leary, decided to take. He caught up with ARN to chat about the impact of VoIP technology in the market and running triathlons in Portugal.

What was your first job?

It was effectively delivering pamphlets when I was nine years old.

How did you end up in the IT industry?

They introduced computers at school in about year 10. I somehow understood the technology and went on to study applied science. From there I realised that I didn’t want to spend my life and 24 hours a day behind a PC. My first real job was with Canon as an account manager selling bubble jet printers.

How did you progress to where you are today?

I spent about three years at Canon before being poached by Compaq. I had six different roles within my six years at Compaq, from sales through to product management and on to managing their consumer business unit for a while. This was all pre-HP merger.

How did you go about starting up ICT Distribution?

After all the mergers with Compaq, I started my own consulting business, which was in channel marketing. We specialised in building sales channels for large vendors. We did a lot of work for NEC, Optus and had a couple projects with Telstra. ICT actually stemmed from some work we were doing with Telstra. The idea was born at the time, we branched out and started ICT Distribution. That was two years ago now.

What was the main focus for ICT when you started up the company?

The initial focus was to provide IT resellers with access to sell and connect Telstra’s Mobile Broadband products. The IT channel is where laptops are sold, and mobile broadband typically requires a laptop, so it was a perfect fit. Further to this was the sale of BlackBerry and Windows email messaging devices and applications – the customer experience is vastly improved when sold by IT experts. Now we provide a complete suite of Telstra products and services.

What do you like about your current job?

It’s very exciting. We’ve taken it from nothing, registering a new name and not having any staff, to strong growth over the last two years. While they haven’t been the easiest two years, I think everybody inside the company has been driven and we’ve had growth opportunities.


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