Unified communications integrator, AGC Networks, has hired Tony Heywood, as its A/NZ vice president.
Heywood was previously responsible for running Westcon Group’s Cisco sales team and services business. He re-joined the distributor for the third time in 2010 to lead its datacentre practice.
“The Cisco business is very healthy and has grown exponentially during the last three years, growing more than 120 per cent, and the job that Wendy has asked me to do has largely been done. Much of what we wanted to achieve from a services point of view has been done and it’s now about growing the capability and frequency which we sell those services,” Heywood said. “It was time to move on and I’m leaving a good ship.”
Heywood said joining AGC presented an interesting opportunity in stepping up his IT career.
“I’ve said for the last few years that I’ve wanted to run something and call it my own, and this was an opportunity for me to do that,” he said.
In his newly created role, Heywood will be responsible for building customer relationships in the local market and focus on strengthening existing customer and vendor relationships. Plans also involve expanding its geographical coverage. It currently has offices in Sydney and Melbourne, and it will expand further into these cities and look to others in the future.
"The current relationships we have are most important and will be invested in, with the goal to increase our relevance to our customers and vendor partners,” he said. “In the medium term, AGC Networks will look to grow in geographical coverage and increase the breadth and depth of our Services offerings to our customers."
Heywood has been in the distribution world on-and-off since 1999 and has previously delved into reseller land, working for ComputerCorp.
Westcon executive vice-president Asia Pacific, Wendy O’Keeffe, said Heywood had done really well with its Cisco business and helping the distributor in areas he was good at, particularly with customer relationships. A replacement for Heywood hasn't be sought at this stage.
“It’s wonderful that he has an opportunity to take the next step in his career, and if it’s what you aspire to be in life, you’ve got to take it. He’s launching into a brave new world and he’s up for it,” she said.
So what attracted Heywood back to reseller land?
“The biggest attraction to me is that customers are changing the way they’re buying, the buyer is a significantly more sophisticated commodity now then what they were a few years ago,” he said.
Some of the most important lessons he has learnt during his time in distribution involve constantly re-inventing your business to stay relevant to the market.
“If a distributor isn’t re-visiting their business plan every six months, moulding it and changing it to the market, particularly in this environment where Cloud is taking on so much, then they’re probably falling behind,” he said. “There’s a common misconception that distribution is about a warehouse and a bank, that’s the base level, but there’s certainly a place for services associated with the product via distribution.”