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Versent pushes into US market, makes leadership hires

Versent pushes into US market, makes leadership hires

Three new leadership hires will help shape Versent's growth trajectory

Thor Essman (Versent)

Thor Essman (Versent)

Versent has made a string of strategic new leadership hires following strong market growth, amid plans to expand into the US within the next couple of months.

In order to help realise its growth ambitions, the cloud specialists has tweaked its operating model through new senior leadership appointments that include former Thomas Duryea co-founder, Micah Smith.

Smith joins Versent in the newly created role as general manager of migrations and will focus on the delivery of major customer cloud migration work across Australia - Smith was one of the founding members of Thomas Duryea, later acquired by Logicalis, and now known as Thomas Duryea Logicalis.

“I had some good conversations about what we could achieve and I wanted to jump at the opportunity,” Smith said. "I’m using a lot of my experience in business consulting and migrations to improve outcomes for current and new customers."

Smith said he’ll be looking to build up Versent’s migration teams and focusing on the breadth of customer opportunities with migrating into the public cloud via Amazon Web Services (AWS).

"Looking into the future of IT and the public cloud landscape, I think having a focus on that is important," Smith said.

"But still needing all of my legacy experience with on-premises infrastructure stacks and applications - bringing in my knowledge and experience in migrating those will help us modernise those applications."

Meanwhile, Robert Frendo has joined as general manager of strategic growth, responsible for driving growth across entire company including professional services, platform and product divisions.

Frendo previously worked as the head of solution sales for Australia Post and also spent more than three years in sales and management roles at Sensis.

"We’re really focusing on a very broad customer base, which is split by vertical and geographically," Frendo said. "We’re working through the continued growth and scale of the business through both the sales teams and practice directors, and importantly, what support each customer needs to help address their concerns.

"Every customer has different requirements and we really need to act as a team to cover off the many buying influencers in those customers.

"We can’t achieve what the customer wants without a cross functional team. I’ll be making sure all those things are in place to help service the customer needs."

Furthermore, Sixtree-founder Brett Wilson has also joined Versent as practice director of product - he was most recently a principal consultant with platform engineering at Deloitte, which acquired Sixtree in 2016.

"What I’m hoping to achieve is really to take the engineering discipline, skills sets that we have and taking it to our customers and having a meaningful impact to the companies and their business," he added.

"My role is to work across the engineering and technical boundaries and the customer space."

Expansion plans

Versent is tracking towards nearing 300 staff across the company and has its eye on expanding into the US market, Versent CEO, Thor Essman, said.

"The main aim for the company this year is for our strategy to shift more into platform, product and subscription-based revenue,” he added.

Opening up a US office involves leveraging a partnership with security vendor, Ping Identity as well as in response to customer needs on the west coast of the US.

"First is because of our relationship with Ping Identity and also for some specific customer needs that have multi-jurisdictional parts to their companies that operate in both Australia and US," Essman added.

"And to finally plant the seed of a net new business that we really want to expand into when it comes to our platform and product place in 2019."

Essman further highlighted the company has consistently grown at 100 per cent revenue every year, and was continuing that growth trajectory into 2018.

Looking ahead, Essman said Versent would continue to push growth across every state in Australia, and was possibly considering a move into the Canberra market, while also noting that its Singapore business was starting to grow particularly in the automation space.

"We out-performed our target by 25 per cent in every category for 2017/2018 financial year," Essman said. "We’ve grown to about 250 to 270 people and through this fiscal year, we will easily surpass the 300 mark.

"It is a big milestone for us and is a big part in maintaining cultural cohesion in how we operate in multiple places at scale, and with quality staff. People cry about a talent shortage in the market, but it is about creating the ability for people to want to work in your environment.

"It is a seller’s market now with the seller being talent, and to truly attract and retain the best, you have to be the best and have to treat them as individuals and have enough respect for them that they’re just not a commoditised IT service.

"We’re passionate and focused on our people, our ability to be an employer of choice is one of the key to our successes and something that we take very seriously."


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Tags Thor EssmanVersentThomas Duryea Logicalis

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