Accolades recognises the winners at this year's ARN IT Industry Awards - the best of the best. Over the course of the next few weeks, ARN will be running their stories. We begin with the industry leaders inducted into the Hall of Fame, this year.
Moheb Moses, Hall of Fame
Over the course of nearly 30 years in the great onion that is the IT channel, Hall of Fame inductee, Moheb Moses, has held positions at just about every layer imaginable.
He had both technical and sales roles in his early days at distributor, Sourceware. He then moved to a reseller (Cray Communications), before taking senior roles at software corporation, Citrix, and then moving over to Watchguard as a stint as the Australian managing director.
Now he’s an entrepreneur working for a consultancy that he and business partner, Cam Wayland, set up: Channel Dynamics. For Moses, the channel is something he never plans to step away from.
“For me there’s a fundamental difference between direct sales people and channel sales people,” he said. “Direct sales people are driven by closing the business themselves. They get satisfaction from their personal achievement of the outcome. Channel sales people, I think like managers, get achievement through helping others achieve their outcomes.”
It was that drive to help others achieve their desired outcomes that make Channel Dynamics such an appealing prospect for Moses. Like any entreprenual venture, Channel Dynamics has required hard work to keep running, and has had its ups and downs, but it was never difficult for Moses.
“It’s something we both enjoy. We work with people along the way, and they often look on the surface at our business and say ‘this looks easy,’ and then they get into it and they realise it perhaps isn’t as easy as it looks on the outside” he said.
“Because it’s our business and it’s something we enjoy we perhaps don’t see the difficulty associated with it. It’s a bit like if you work in a job you hate, 9-5 is a long time. If you work in something that you love you send up being on email at midnight and you don’t notice it.”
It’s still not without its challenges. Channel Dynamics has lost a couple of major bids for business recently because it lacks a presence in Singapore. Moses and Wayland have attempted to establish an office, but the person initially attached to that project found the entrepreneurial side of things not to taste, Moses claimed.
“I think that one of the challenges of what we do is being able to feel comfortable working in an environment where you do everything. If you don’t have a combination of business development and consulting the business doesn’t go anywhere. We need to get our Singapore office up and running.”
That’s just one new requirement for an organisation operating within an industry in constant flux. Over 30 years Moses has observed the very definition of what makes a channel healthy shift dramatically.
“When I first started in the early 0s the definition of a healthy channel was operating on margins of 30 or 35 per cent,” he said. “By that definition you could argue that today the channel isn’t healthy, but that’s not the case. Because our businesses evolved to cope with increasing competition.”
That in itself is a positive sign for the future, since it means the channel will continue to find ways to evolve and remain profitable, Moses added. It’s why Channel Dynamics was formed seven years ago and it’s why it will be around as long as Moses and Wayland want it to.
“The channel only works if the vendor, distributor and partner are all profitable,” Moses said.
“Seven years ago, I was working with a training company, helping them develop training, and Cam [Wayland] was also working with them doing some consulting work, and the conversation with me was ‘the company I talk to would love to do the training but we really need to develop a strategy first,’ and Cam was talking to some companies who were saying ‘ok so you’ve helped us with our strategy, what do we do now?’ Which was a nice fit for us together and so Channel Dynamics was formed.”
"The channel only works if the vendor, distributor and partner are all profitable"