The 'Partner Spotlight' series explores partners operating in the local channel landscape right around the country, from Cape York to Hobart, Byron Bay to Fremantle and beyond. In this edition, we focus on Queensland and Bowen-based IT and services provider ADITS.
Many IT businesses like to view themselves as a trusted advisor to those they support, but for ADITS’ managing director Ashley Darwen, he believes his business has earned the right to be that advisor. However, this didn’t happen overnight.
The provider started in 2006, opening its doors in Bowen, Queensland — where Darwen was born and raised.
After setting up shop, Darwen said the next logical step was to expand, so the following years saw ADITS open locations in Ayr, Townsville and then Brisbane, going from approximately three people at the start to roughly 30 people today.
There’s no one particular vertical that ADITS currently aligns itself to, which was also very much true at the start of the business, according to Darwen.
“When we started, we just had to do every industry. As we have grown and moved and matured as a business, we probably do a lot more in the healthcare space and the non-for-profit space,” he said.
However, ADITS still has quite a variety of verticals on its books, which also includes the professional and utilities services, construction, manufacturing and mining, and education and training sectors.
Additionally, the provider also works in the retail and wholesale trade, arts, agriculture and recreation services, rental, hiring and real estate services, and hospitality industries.
Helping ADITS through all these verticals is assistance from its vendor partners, with Darwen highlighting software vendor ConnectWise as one of its biggest from its startup phase.
The managing director claimed that particular partnership helped the provider scale up to the roughly 30 employees it has now. While that relationship was vital when ADITS was a startup, Darwen added that Microsoft is the provider’s single biggest partner now.
Additionally, ADITS also counts StorageCraft as its backup and disaster recovery partner and Sophos for security.
Although the managing director highlighted some of its biggest vendors, Darwen said the most successful achievement for the business as a whole was becoming a trusted advisor for other businesses.
"The biggest thing that we've found is that you have to understand the business and you become part of that business to make sure that the decisions that you're making are in line with their planning,” he said.
“The biggest win that we can have is being that trusted source of information for any business that that we deal with.”
To get to this point, Darwen credits two things — making sure ADITS has the right employees and that those employees have the right skillsets.
“We spend a lot of time making sure that we're hiring the right people. Once we get the right people, that in turn shows our customers that we do become the trusted advisor and we make sure that we have the customers' best interest at heart," he said.
“Because when things are working for them, then in turn, they're working for us.”
In the immediate future, ADITS’ sights are set on Brisbane, which Darwen calls the provider’s biggest growth area, and helping customers continue to move through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Businesses have become a lot more reliable on technology than they ever have been before,” he said. “I think our main focus, especially for the next 12 months, is just to help businesses transition.
“If they've got staff working from home, or to make sure that they have the technology in place, they can make their staff feel part of the team even if they're not in the office.
“That's going to be a challenge for us, making sure that we can provide that over the next couple of months.”
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