In a small suburb on the Gold Coast, Robina to be exact, one partner is going against the grain.
As a cloud, hosted PBX and connectivity services provider, onPlatinum ICT has been operating in Queensland for over four years, growing business nationally alongside a core base of custom along the eastern seaboard.
Through cloud specialisation, the business is financial services centric, with 90 per cent of employees - including its founders - drawing on such a background.
But while specialisation isn’t new to the channel, for onPlatinum ICT, the company is seeking to build its own partner base through unusual channels.
“In 2017 we’re focused on creating a proper channel with accounting firms,” OnPlatinum ICT sales director, Jay Newcomb, said.
Drawing on the combined knowledge, leadership and experience, onPlatinum ICT excels across cloud, managed IT, backup and disaster recovery, including increased connectivity capabilities.
“We have identified key accounting firms that want to help their customers,” Newcomb explained.
“A reason for this approach is that on many occasions a customer or potential prospect say that they need to speak to their accountant.
“If they need to speak to their accountant and we have the accountant on side and it’s transparent, the accountant realises that switching from a major telco to our hosted PBX is going to save their client with 12 sites $3,000 per month.
“The accountant may as well have a hand in that or an opinion on it.”
While the accountant understands what a customer spends on technology, Newcomb said they struggle to understand the finer details, meaning onPlatinum ICT can partner to increase its potential client base, with the accountant adding new value at the same time.
“It’s a question that has never been asked,” Newcomb said. “The response has been positive because it’s an add-on, they are offering an added service from a position of understanding and trust.
“The accountant knows what a business needs to look like for cash flow, they know what it needs to look like for lending, they know what it needs to look like if it’s being sold.
“The accountant has far more pull in the business through the trust they have built with clients over a long period of time.”
According to Newcomb, OnPlatinum ICT has been following this model for two years, with the strategy now beginning to pay off for the company.
Currently, the business considers a growing number of accounting firms as key customers, alongside a range of “sporadic referrals” since embarking on this new go-to-market approach.
“Accounting firms are not always inclined to ask these questions because it’s a little bit outside their scope,” Newcomb explained.
“Even though they have all the information, they are used to talking to clients about financial services so they also need a bit of education.”
Looking ahead, Newcomb said expansions plans will begin “slowly” for the growing business, starting with south east Queensland first.
“We also have a staff member now in Sydney,” Newcomb added.
“It’s like on-boarding any new partner, they need a little bit of knowledge, a little bit of training and then we will do the rest. They want to help their customers they just don’t know the ins and outs of a contract.
“It’s about adding another string to their bow and providing increased value to customers.”
FOUNDED – 2012
HEADCOUNT – 22
KEY TECH – Cloud, hosting PBX, connectivity services, print, backup and disaster recovery
KEY VENDORS – Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, NEXTDC, Kyocera and Megaport
KEY CUSTOMERS – 300+ financial services customers, including Childcare and Automotive
This article originally appeared in the December issue of ARN magazine - to subscribe, please click here