Project cancellations and reprioritised budgets are continuing to cause a headache for the Australian channel, but thankfully not every customer is ready to let their chance for major digital transformation go to waste.
This is the takeaway for Marcelo Scalia, the managing director of the recently acquired Oracle partner Ekulus, which has weathered its share of the pandemic-induced turbulence, but has managed to hone in at the right opportunities.
As a company founded on the ethos of simplifying customer processes via Oracle, Ekulus has found a niche in aiding pandemic-hit customers save their tightening budgets by making their IT working better for them.
“Self-service processes, digitalisation of manual operations, especially across local government have been a focus,” he told ARN. “Process automation and underpinning it all, a cloud that can be accessed from anyway.”
“We are seeing customers putting projects on hold on and literally reshuffling their budget; or they cancel most projects and refocus investment on the key priority projects. We're seeing that in every single client. Although it is a reduction on investment, certainly, there are certain areas that will have a spike. It will just depend where partners play.”
Fortunately for Scalia, Ekulus has maintained a “customer-centric view since the day [it] started.” Indeed, Scalia goes so far as to call it the company’s “bread and butter”.
“Our core capabilities around CRM, digital, nation, data quality are such that when you put all of those together, you get a single customer view.”
Massive digital transformation
Founded 10 years ago in Melbourne, Ekulus first specialised in deploying Oracle and Oracle-owned Siebel CRM to on-premises customers, before pivoting entirely to cloud.
This year has been a momentous one for the team at Ekulus, who, amid Melbourne’s punishing lockdown, managed to sign the dotted line on its acquisition by Deloitte.
And although Ekulus remains aligned to the strategy it set out before the pandemic, the acquisition and COVID-19 have sharpened its ambitions.
“We have evolved from being a specialised partner to a specialised innovation partner,” Scalia explained. “By that, we can offer specialised consulting services to assist customers with the implementation process. But more importantly, they can they can expect us to bring innovation and accelerators into the into the process; to get that information faster, to use proven methods, to use pre built IP, but most importantly to bring massive digital transformation. And COVID has created the opportunity to make that change.”
On top of this, Scalia is mindful of the risks working remotely has created in terms of cyber crime, and the opportunities around it for partners.
“I think there's gonna be a shift towards security on cyber risk,” he said. “Clients have always felt very much in control of the data, kind of having to adapt and move more and more quickly to the cloud.
“I think we're going through a digital transformation process that will then lead us into an area called cyber risk and cyber security services around it. We see ourselves expanding into that space, not only to serve, protect our services and our innovation, but because clients will demand it.”
Meanwhile, with the like of a global behemoth like Deloitte behind them, Ekulus has the capacity to pursue new customer acquisitions while still maintaining a razor sharp focus on the customers it has.
“We are focusing on helping existing clients on how they navigate and transition through this period," Scalia said. "But particularly, every single one of them is going through a change and that is an opportunity to expand from the current footprint.”
ARN Advance is a centralised editorial resource designed to help partners access forward-looking content as the Australian market attempts to reposition for growth.