Growth is the fundamental aim of all businesses if they want to survive. Over the next two weeks ARN is looking at 10 channel-relevant technology companies that have achieved significant growth over the last three years. Our writers reveal some interesting game plans and methods of growth. The companies are drawn from the latest Deloitte Technology Fast 50 program. Now in its 11th year, the program ranks 50 of Australia’s fastest-growing public or private technology companies, based on percentage revenue growth over three years (2009 to 2011). For further information on the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 visit www.tech50.com.au.
- Deloitte Technology Fast 50 position: 24
- Interviewee: Managing director, Mark Winter
- Key quote: “We’re concentrated on ... encouraging a culture of ongoing development to remain up-to-date in the rapidly evolving IT industry”
With the threat of another global financial crisis looming, some businesses will inevitably feel some anxiety about the future.
But not IT distributor, inTechnology.
“We’ve never been affected by a downturn in the market,” inTechnology founder and managing director, Mark Winter, said. “We originally launched the company in 1999 during the worst financial crisis in many years.”
The fact the valued-added distributor has survived for so long and achieved tremendous growth during 2011 is, perhaps, a testament to that.
inTechnology wound up 24th on the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Australia 2011 list having recorded 155.43 per cent growth in the last three years.
Winter saw the IT industry as particularly resilient to economic downturns. While businesses may slash budget (s) during difficult times, many of them still seek out IT solutions for efficiencies.
“IT won’t ever stop because of a GFC – if anything, we actually get a little bit busy,” he said. “People are trying to do more things in a smarter way rather than employing more staff and they’re using technology to help them in developing their organisations.”
Spending time understanding key areas businesses will invest into in the next 12-18 months is an important part of driving growth but so is making difficult decisions, according to Winter.
One of them concerned the vendors inTechnology would represent going forward.
“Like all distributors, you have to be careful about who you put your money behind,” Winter said. “At the end of last year, we made a decision we were going to replace one vendor with another.
Wireless vendor, Xirrus, was signed a few years back to capitalise on the additional IT funding the education sector was receiving from the Federal Government’s Digital Education Revolution.
But after reviewing its three- to five-year growth strategy, inTechnology found the vendor was too restrictive to the education sector and limited channel partner’s ability to explore other market segments.
Subsequently, Xirrus was replaced by another vendor, Ruckus Wireless.
The good thing about working with Ruckus was, according to Winter, that its portfolio complemented that of other vendors inTechnology represented. This allowed the distributor to help its resellers to craft solutions-based product packages to clients.
“We have positioned ourselves as a solutions provider from a distributor’s point of view,” Winter said. “We have really strived for that in the last two years, to provide full solutions to channel partners to be able to go in and sell to end users rather than having to go to different distributors and tie products together.
“It also gives channel partners the ability to sell more services around the products we sell.”
And when channel partners do well, the distributor benefits from that as well, he said.
Taking risks, or rather, having the guts to try something different when it comes to taking on new products has helped inTechnology as well.
“You sort of have to be a bit of a visionary, to be honest,” Winter said. “You do need to take a gamble in some cases in relation to what we believe the market is going to want.”