Founded in a year when Bob Hawke was in power, the end of the Cold War was nearing and Live Aid concerts rocked the world, ASI Solutions has stood the test of time.
This is a born-and-bred Australian business that has outlived eight Prime Ministers, eight Wallabies coaches and two global recessions.
From a technology standpoint, the provider has shone as titans of the industry spectacularly failed — think Nokia, BlackBerry or Napster — enduring the emergence of the internet and Y2K, to today’s disruptive technologies such as cloud, digital and security. And it was all in the quest to remain forever relevant to changing customer demands.
Relevance, and the very notion of it, is a well-worn channel cliché, rolled out at every opportunity by vendors, distributors and partners.
Yet the art of remaining relevant, and everything that it subsequently entails, is fraught with complexities and challenges because if technology providers found pivoting so easy, wouldn’t the channel forever be in a constant state of tailspin?
Call it transformation, modification or simply renovation, continual reassessment has created a market permanence for ASI, who commenced trading as Anabelle Bits 32 years ago.
Within five years of existence, the then blossoming start-up was recognised as a leading hardware brand, representing a range of international suppliers and winning a string of large government contracts, resulting in the establishment of a national organisation.
During such growth, the company initiated its first fundamental round of changes, adopting the name ASI Solutions at the start of the 1990s to emphasise a shift in direction, from an IT product orientated reseller, to a solutions and services business.
Change is deep-rooted in the DNA of ASI, formulating an ethos that continues to influence decision- making today.
“When I shut down ASI Computers, I thought that it would have a detrimental effect on our business for the short-term,” acknowledged Nathan Lowe, managing director, ASI Solutions.
But in looking back, the bold business move to walk away from history and close the company’s manufacturing arm in 2015 paid dividends.
“It had the opposite effect on our business,” Lowe recalled. “It served as a positive message internally as to where the company was heading.
“We were building PCs, if we were doing that now, who knows where we would be? It’s important to look back and respect your history as an organisation, but you’ve got to look towards the future and understand where technology is heading.”
Lowe’s vision, in leading a team of over 120 staff, is to be recognised as an Australian company that continually seeks and introduces innovative IT value-added technologies and services that challenge the current market leaders.
“We will introduce these to our clients where they might bring significant organisational benefits,” he explained.
“We will ensure that our founding spirit and core DNA form, at all times, the successful basis of all customer, supplier and staff interactions.”
Headquartered in Sydney, the business provides sales and service support throughout the country, with branches in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.
“We have introduced many innovative technologies into the Australian business arena — particularly those that have provided the competitive edge,” Lowe added.
“We have also worked in virtually every area that you can think of, yet some potential and existing customers may not be aware of this.
“One of our greatest skills is working with new and potential customers on modelling and consulting tasks and then following up with our portfolio of skills and competencies.”
Expanding beyond the business
Fresh from completing a technology upgrade at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, ASI excels across a range of core technologies, including cloud, desktop security, managed back-up and disaster recovery, alongside mail filtering and mobile device management.
Recent customer wins also include MLC School, Coomera Anglican College and Marion Council, in addition to Ardent Leisure and Bakers Delight among others.
And despite a strong standing as a contracted panel supplier on a variety of Federal, State and Local Government panels for the past 20 years, the business is continuing to advance, seeking expansion through
new routes to market.
Central to such expansion is Karl Sice, recently recruited as head of acquisition and strategy.
After vacating his role as head of Winc Technology Solutions across Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) — exiting the provider after almost six years — Sice joins the solutions provider with the primary role of focusing on new business, verticals and technologies, helping build out long-term strategic plans as a result.
“ASI has experienced strong growth and we see Karl as a great addition to the already rich culture of the organisation,” Lowe added.
“He will assist us to continue that trend with his leadership experience in business development, partnerships and alliances.
“We’re looking ahead and this is where I see the potential of Karl coming on board, bringing fresh ideas and a fresh approach as an outsider to the business. I have an idea of where I want to take the business, but some of the best ideas come from the team that work around you, and it’s crucial to listen.”