Omni IT has been operating in the Canberra marketplace for the best part of 20 years, with the provider recently rebranding to drive new growth.
Michael Warnock, founder of the home-run business, named the company OfficePCs before rebranding to Omni IT.
The new name and new office location — issued a few years ago — has helped set a new pace, as the provider capitalises on new business opportunities across the Canberra marketplace.
Warnock said the name change followed a discussion with his peer group, who openly confessed they never liked the brand in the first place.
OfficePCs wasn’t entirely relevant to what the business does in terms of IT services and market offerings. And so, Omni (meaning ‘of all things’) IT was born.
“The name change, offce relocation and refresh has sparked a lot of business,” Warnock admitted. As a result, the company has hired extra technical and sales staff to help keep on top of demand.
Omni IT has a lot of government clientele, and deals with a mix of business verticals from real estate through to finance and manufacturing, ranging up to 100 seats, but has found its sweet spot within the 20-seat mark.
Warnock said one of the biggest requests from clients is cloud, with Offce 365 deployments increasing.
On top of running his IT business, Warnock also runs his own business networking group, which meets up twice a month, and is also a part of the HTG Peer Group.
“There’s a tonne of business here in Canberra, and there are other businesses that complain about how quiet it is, but if you keep telling everyone who you are and that you still exist, there’s a lot of business opportunities around,” Warnock said.
“There are a lot of business owners out there that don’t know how to run their business in terms of how to do processes and procedures, and we’re constantly developing those and I hope we’re leading in that area.”
Warnock explained being a part of a peer group, such as HTG, has been a beneficial experience for his business.
“When I first joined, we were not profitable and now we are,” he added. “They were questioning why we did certain things, how we made money, etc.
“It helps keep us accountable. When you’re a business owner, who else keeps the owner accountable for their actions and decisions? It’s a bit of a reality check to make sure you’re doing things the right way.”
The fast pace of the tech sector often means that companies can lose their point of difference quickly. This is something that Warnock has experienced first-hand.
“I like to think that we’re an early adopter of new technologies in the market,” he added. “We’ve had remote monitoring tools for about eight or nine years, which used to be our point of difference, but now, everyone offers that.”
In 2019, Warnock said he would like to grow his business at least a 30 per cent and sees an opportunity to expand into new technology areas such as print and security.
“I’ve always stayed focused on what we do and try to do it well,” he added. “We’re trying to do one thing (IT support) and do it well, rather than trying to be all things to all people.”
Market fluctuations are also another challenge, but Warnock explained that the Canberra market is different to other areas of the country, due the region’s heavy government focus.
“Canberra is pretty much recession-proof,” he said. “We do see a bit of fluctuation in the market, but we’re nowhere near as affected as other parts of the country, but when the market is quiet, we see it as an ideal time to reach out to customers and plan their IT for them.”