Sydney-based integrator, Artis Group, has appointed former Telstra cloud solutions manager, Mark Duckworth, as the company’s first national manager for cloud productivity.
In the newly created role, Duckworth will be responsible for driving the growth of the Artis cloud business as the company looks to continue its push in enterprise and government, while attacking the mid-market with its Microsoft cloud solutions offering.
As a Microsoft gold partner, Artis Group plans to leverage Duckworth’s experience at both Telstra and Microsoft - where he had two successful stints - to expand its cloud business with the vendor.
Duckworth was formerly Telstra's national channel manager for cloud solutions for close to three years, having previously worked as a senior channel specialist for the telco.
Artis Group managing director, Chris Greatrex, told ARN that Duckworth's pedigree in the channel in conjunction with recent developments across Dynamics 365, the digital partner record and the Microsoft CSP program helped create an opportunity for the company to aggressively target market segments it was not traditionally strong in.
“In the past dealing with enterprise and government clients, the usual large account reseller guys took the deals down and got all the glory based on the work we would architect and deploy because of the enterprise agreements,” he said.
“Now with the digital partner record, and the CSP program, I think it will threaten a lot of the money that the larger solution providers used to count on. We saw a significant change in the market there and Mark could also.
“While anyone can migrate from Microsoft Exchange to Office 365, there are very few partners who can actually then develop and deploy a bespoke solution on top of the platform like we are doing for many of our clients."
Greatrex said the company is also leveraging the Microsoft CSP program to introduce a technology and innovation fund, allowing customers to invest in services, licences, software development and hardware.
Greatrex also explained that many distributors are now equipping themselves to better service partners wanting to target the mid-market.
“Particularly with the new CSP program it's becoming easier for us to deal with the mid-market players because the distributors are enabling e-commerce options to make it easier for those customers to buy Office 365 licenses online from partners like us,” he said.
“To go after those five, ten, and 15 seat clients is much more cost effective now because the distributors are helping develop those tools to help us get into the mid-market space.”
While Artis’ customer base is traditionally strong in Sydney, Greatrex said the company is looking to tap into digital marketing to attract customers in other cities around the country, as well as educating existing customers on the capabilities the integrator is developing.