Backed by a credible reputation within the education sector, ASI also counts government and small to medium business (SMBs) sectors as key markets, with each accounting for roughly 30 per cent of business.
Yet in looking forward, plans are in place to move up the customer stack, advancing towards enterprise and the money-spinning deals that follow.
“Karl’s strength is in the enterprise space,” Lowe explained. “This is an area that we haven’t really been trying to crack in the past for whatever reason, but Karl is going to bring that on board.”
Since joining in May 2012, Sice — who was recently inducted into the ARN Hall of Fame — returned the Winc business to growth on both sides of the Tasman, drawing on previous management and director roles at Dell, Acronis, American Express, Sun Microsystems and Gartner.
Such experience dovetails naturally with ASI’s long-standing ability to maintain customer relationships, as the company seeks to attract new business in the next 12 months.
“We have been thinking about recruiting for this role to assist in ASI targeting new markets and customers, and Karl was a natural fit,” Lowe added.
“Karl’s experience and track record proves he has the capabilities and personal drive to achieve success. We have some aggressive growth targets which we feel Karl will definitely assist in driving towards.”
Tasked with building a new team from scratch, Sice will start with two to four staff members, before expanding the division in response to customer demand.
“It is evident to me that the values and culture that exist in ASI are driven by its authentic leadership and strong reputation that’s been earned over many years of success in the market,” Sice said.
“Further, the future potential of the business because of their momentum excites me. I will focus on creating a coalition, both with new organisations and across the industry.”
Despite a clear need for early success, both Lowe and Sice remain grounded in the belief that this will be a long-term project for the business, with an initial 100-day plan expected to outline future opportunities between the next 2–5 years.
“My aspirations in the role include helping to create a winning environment, great engagement and culture for the team, ASI’s customers and partners,” Sice added. “I want to build a highly successful new business unit and couple that with effective strategy leadership.
“I also want to align and lead the partners, alliances and stakeholders towards even greater success.”
Change pays off
Since shutting down manufacturing capabilities, ASI has experienced a stellar 24 months across Australia, validated by its recent crowning as Mid-Market Partner of the Year at the ARN ICT Industry Awards 2017, alongside being named in the Top 500 private companies by the Australian Financial Review.
Bolstered by a wave of large contract wins, the technology provider reported record-breaking revenue figures during the past 12 months.
With revenue clocking in at $71.5 million for the 2017 financial year end, the figures represent an upturn of $8.2 million compared to 2016 figures, rising 12.95 per cent.
Triggered by a deepened focus on hardware and software deployment — coupled with the expansion of the company’s managed IT services and ‘as a service’ models — the Sydney-based business also doubled down on its advisory capabilities, though a new suite of consultancy and advisory services.
The shift in approach has seen the veteran provider increase service contracts in the past nine months with key new contracts won across government, education and corporate sectors, with customers including Bakers Delight, Redeemer Lutheran College and Steadfast Business Solutions.
To facilitate such contracts, the business is also providing ongoing consulting skills, extending the service beyond the initial technology investment.
In addition, the new customer base is now supported by ASI Solutions’ professional services team, with headcount increasing 20 per cent during the past 12 months in line with the company’s managed services growth.
“Our achievements over the past 12 months are testament to team excellence and a desire to exceed in meeting customer expectations,” Lowe observed.
With Australians expected to spend $83.1 billion in IT by the end of 2017, ASI’s assault on the wider market appears well-timed.
According to Gartner findings, the IT services segment alone is expected to account for $30 billion of the total IT spend, alongside forecasted increases of $660 million in 2018.
Consequently, the channel is awash with services opportunities, providing a platform for partners to offer tailored solutions to address specific end-user requirements. “You can’t be all things to all people, if you do that you spread yourself too thin and you don’t become a subject matter,” added Lowe, who is open to collaboration at every level, including the emerging application space.
“If we don’t do something particularly well internally, then we will find trusted partners in the community that we can work with to fulfil a particular need for our customer base. IT makes up a very large industry and you can’t do all things.”
Refusing to be limited by industry definitions or media categorisations, Lowe believes the market ASI serves is irrelevant, with customer outcomes the crucial consideration.
“Most customers have the same requirements whether they are at SMB or enterprise level,” he added. “If you deliver business outcomes that deliver benefit to their clients, I don’t think it matters what market you are playing in.”