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Distributing telephony

Distributing telephony

Wavelink Communications director, Jonathan Ordman, has a dual engineering/MBA background and brings technical and business knowledge to his role. He speaks to ARN about his frustrations with opportunistic resellers and the pains of telemarketing.

What was your first job?

My first job was a part-time position while at university. I found myself doing telemarketing at night for a house planning company. I was phoning people at dinner time and getting abused. That was quite an interesting and challenging job.

What did you study at university?

I did electronic engineering, and then followed that up with an MBA, and I did the two back-to-back. Once I finished engineering, I realised I didn’t want to be an engineer, so I decided I needed to get into business. Since then, I’ve always been in a technical commercial field.

How did you progress to where you are today?

I got married and immigrated to America for two-and-a-half years, and my first job there was with an electrical transformer manufacturer in a marketing role with a technical base to it. Then we migrated to Australia and I got a job with OTC, which was an overseas telephone company, before they merged with Telstra. I worked there as the manager for the international transit business. From there, I joined Panasonic as a product manager for its telephone business, which kept me in telecommunications, and then progressed to marketing manager for Panasonic’s business products division. I joined Wavelink as a partner/director when it was a start-up, and we’ve grown the business over the last 10 years.

What are the some of the differences between working for a vendor and working for a distributor?

At Wavelink, we have deliberately selected a very limited number of vendors with complementary products and we take great pride in trying to act as much a local arm of the vendor as possible. From that point of view, there are actually many similarities between what we do and what a vendor would do if they were distributing themselves locally. The major differences between working for a multinational vendor and a mid-sized privately owned distributor are that we are much more independent and flexible and there are less organisational politics to worry about.

What do you like most about the ICT industry?

In general, my technical background has always drawn me to the industry. I enjoy the dynamic, fast-paced nature of the industry and the excitement of seeing constant product innovation leading to better business solutions.

What attracted you to Australia?

What’s there not to like? We only went to America because we applied to move to Australia but couldn’t get in. I find the culture and the lifestyle suits my tastes better than the US. It was easier to make the move from America to Australia once our immigration application transferred over, as there were fewer people looking to move out of the US.


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