Vintek on the hunt to acquire the next Hostworks
- 08 June, 2017 05:30
Vintek is on the lookout for viable Australian managed services providers (MSPs) to add to its portfolio as it maps out its strategy for the next few years.
The company’s director, Paul Vinton, told ARN that its priority is to seek MSPs that it could potentially buy and thus, expand its presence into other states of Australia.
“The plan, over the next few years, is to buy MSPs in other states. We’re next looking at acquiring a Melbourne-based MSP, then we’re probably going to look at Brisbane and Perth, followed by Sydney,” he said.
The Adelaide-based cloud provider and system integrator has no qualms in spending millions for these purchases, having lost out the purchase of Hostworks to Inabox Group by “just over $1 million”, according to Vinton.
He is looking to buy other MSPs of Hostworks' caliber.
“Hostworks was a multi-million bid and we lost that by just over $1 million, though the actual numbers are confidential. We’re looking for similar MSPs to acquire," he said. "It comes down to how and where they are sitting in the marketplace, where they’re aimed at in terms of their client targets and whether they have value systems that are aligned with ours.
"That’s going to be the biggest part of what we’re looking for. Our motto is to get it right the first time, and we’re looking to be leading edge, not bleeding edge in terms of being early adopters of technology. We want the companies we acquire to have that same culture."
According to Vinton, Vintek is open to “anything that’s out there that comes along” but has to be one with a stellar business case.
“If there’s a business case to make it work and if we can get an ROI that matches what we’re looking for in terms of the numbers, we’ll consider it.
“Their business case needs to be similar to our core business and verticals. We’re looking and a business that has between 30 and 50 staff. Multi-million dollar purchases don’t bother us at all,” he mentioned to ARN.
Vertical play and customer wins
Vintek’s top five verticals are across legal, Federal Government, finance, education and not-for-profit, and Vinton mentioned that the company has in the current pipeline between $13 and $14 million in customer contracts.
Vinton said that now that the company has been included in the Federal Government’s cloud services panel, it has opened up opportunities for the business.
“Our government business is going gangbusters at the moment. We’ve got a lot of Federal Government projects kicking off soon. We’re just starting to focus our attention on state government too, in providing services to them.”
Since joining the panel, Vintek has taken DataCore to the Federal Government and has other deployments lined up in the coming months.
As a partner of Fortinet, Lenovo, IBM, Dell, Veeam, and Citrix, the company has also recently completed the digitalisation of the National Portrait Gallery’s collection by leveraging Lenovo and DataCore technologies.
In addition, it has recently rolled out public Wi-Fi for Prospect Council in South Australia with Fortinet and embarked on a three-year cloud migration project with the Australian Hotels Association of South Australia.
“Because we don’t sell them stuff for the sake of selling stuff, we get clients that stick for a very long time. We’re about partnering with them and helping them adopt new technology that helps them empower their business and what they do,” Vinton said.
Data centre expansion
Vinton also told ARN that he plans to expand Vintek’s data centre business further in the near future. The company currently has a network of nine data centres around Australia, which it intends to grow significantly this year.
Vintek has just released its second data hall, with about 180 racks, in Pooraka, South Australia, and aims to fill it to about 70 per cent by the end of this year. It owns two other data centres in Melbourne, two in Sydney, one in Brisbane, one in Canberra, and one in Perth.
“I started our own datacentre line because I want to own the value chain from end-to-end. If I have a localised play, and the data remains in the country, it gives us a localised story to tell customers and one that has only one throat to choke,” he stated.
“Our long-term goal for our data centres in Adelaide is to buy a multi-story building in Adelaide to fit 1,000 racks. We have an offer that we’re attempting to negotiate right now. If we get it, it will be a game changer because it’s a very strategic building in Adelaide.”
As a result of the acquisitions and growth plans, Vintek intends to take its staffing numbers to between 80 and 90 in the next 12 months. Since its launch in 1998, the company now has about 50 staff in its Adelaide, Melbourne, and Canberra offices.
“We also want to increase our footprint with offices in every state and have plans for international expansion – Singapore is kicking off at the moment and we’ll have a data presence coming out of New Zealand shortly.”
Business transformation leads to growth
Vinton said the market’s direction towards business transformation is what’s driving change and growth for Vintek as a business.
“The needs of clients have changed, the business outcomes have changed. Five years ago, cloud was an early thing; now, about 75 per cent of organisations in Australia have adopted cloud. It’s become mainstream and is impacting the way we do business now,” he said.
And Vinton claimed there isn’t a better opportunity for MSPs than there is today.
“The more disruption there is, the more change there is, the more opportunities there are for MSPs around Australia to have a voice because people are unsure how the changes will affect them," Vinton said.
“If I think about the things I took to market 5 years ago, they’re totally different to the things I’m taking to market today. So, if you’re not staying current with where technology is, in 5 years’ time, you’ll be irrelevant,” he mentioned.
Specifically, Vinton suggested MSPs have a bigger play in the data space to reap the benefits within business transformation.
“Most people are dying of thirst in an ocean of data and everybody is suffering of data overload," he said. "The amount of data people have to process is going up, but the ability to process that data is relatively static.
“So there is opportunity in creating smarter systems to help businesses process and make sense of all that data,” he added.