In reflection of the increased levels of innovation across the industry, this column uncovers the emerging start-ups changing the face of the channel in Australia.
Venn IT Solutions
FOUNDED — 2015
HEADCOUNT — Seven
KEY TECH — Cloud, managed DR-as-a-Service
KEY VENDORS — Commvault, Amazon Web Services, NetApp, Cisco, iSeek Communications
KEY CUSTOMERS — Thiess, Allianz Global Assistance, Newcrest Mining, PFD Food Services
Founded in March 2015, born-in-the-cloud provider, Venn IT Solutions, started out with view to serve the market by taking an agnostic, outcome-driven approach.
“We are always looking at the outcome first and have put ourselves back into the customer advocacy position to offer good practical advice for their environments and requirements using either on-premise, hybrid or cloud based solutions,” Venn IT Solutions founder and managing director Geoff Hughes said.
“We pride ourselves on being independent.”
For Hughes, cloud consulting is the business’ core focus for the coming years.
“We have identified some great use cases for cloud and also some major warning signs for workloads that are currently inappropriate for cloud hosting in their current form, so we are continuing to build intellectual property in this space,” he said.
The typical target customer is a business in the large enterprise and government organisation range with more than 1000 users.
“I consider the competitive landscape in two different categories — systems integration and product resell alongside born-in-the-cloud partners,” Hughes added.
“We consider ourselves as being a good balance of the above, with some proven methodologies for project delivery whilst being able to integrate cloud products into the solution. Our differentiators are our independence and enterprise level engagement.”
The current team of seven places the business in a position where it can operate flexibly while priding itself on speciality.
“We are not a big ship to turn, we will take advantage of our size while we can,” Hughes added.
Key goals include a continued focus for managed backup services and assessment services relating to removal of tape technologies and backup to cloud.
“Our first full financial year of trading ended in net profit and we recovered our start-up costs,” he added. “We are also on track for 40 per cent growth in revenue for FY17.”
FOUNDED — 2016
HEADCOUNT — Four
KEY TECH — Integrated data solutions, IT strategy consulting
KEY VENDORS — Microsoft, Xeppo, PSIcapture
KEY CUSTOMERS — CEC, Karrikins Group, Avico Electronics, Kelly+Partners Chartered Accountants
Umlaut IT was founded in 2016 with one clear purpose — to increase business productivity.
“We are really all about helping business get their staff delivering their core strategy without the waste that has evolved over time from poor procedures, manual processing of repetitive tasks with increasing lack of visibility,” Umlaut IT sales director Shane Reid explained.
As a result, Umlaut IT champions a consultative approach around the concept of the virtual CIO.
According to Reid, the virtual CIO strategy enables companies to gain access to a service that they normally wouldn’t be able to afford, whereby a business can receive guidance and confident direction for IT strategy including facilitation and introduction to suitable vendors to complete projects.
“IT is now essentially the engine room delivering core business services to generate revenues, so if this isn’t being done well, it can be catastrophic to a business,” Reid explained.
“The target is business’ that are at a point in their evolution where they are almost ready for a CIO, but cannot yet justify the expense."
In addition to consulting, Umlaut IT’s key practice centres around integrated data solutions, specifically in the key areas of “capture, secure, leverage and liberate”, where the company integrates platforms Psi Capture, Filebound, Xeppo and Microsoft Power BI.
“Analytics have never been so affordable,” Reid explained. “Enterprise level solutions are now within reach and how business leverage those technologies is a challenge that smaller business are now faced with.
“We provide services from initial consultancy on solutions to the delivery of a complete business analytics platform.”
For Umlaut IT, Reid said a key goal for the year is to solidify the company’s market position and build a strong referral pipeline by "delivering on every customer promise".