Reflections on a decade in the channel
- 01 April, 2020 19:15
Insentra's Ronnie Altit
Ten years ago, IT veterans Ronnie Altit, Steven Boi and Izik Gur, banded together to launch a partner services company, Insentra, targeted specifically at channel partners.
This was during the time of the global financial crisis with the economy enduring one of the toughest times since the Great Depression.
A decade later, a new global crisis has emerged in COVID-19, throwing the economy into disarray, resulting in thousands of job losses and businesses facing tumultuous times.
With the mantra, ‘Partner Obsessed,' Insentra’s offering revolves around a service designed to help many channel organisations gain access to certified consultants, with a "very low risk investment" on their behalf, across a number of vendors. These vendors include Citrix, Microsoft, Red Hat, Symantec, skykick, TransVault, Veritas and Quadrotech.
Insentra’s partnerships have also extended to independent software vendors (ISVs), including the likes of Archive360, Datadobi, DataTrust, Globanet, Igel, Lakeside, LoginVSI, Nulia and Torsion.
Reflecting on the past decade doing business under the Insentra name, Altit has highlighted the top elements that have helped his business grow and gain momentum during the past 10 years.
First on his list are the company's people and, despite committing the ultimate business sin of starting a business with friends and family, staff are an integral part of the company's foundations.
This is very closely followed by the strong relationships that have been built within the channel partner community, along with the positive impact and growth that has been achieved as a result of that, and helping partners explore new tech areas with a low risk impact to their own business.
“We’ve got a great team of people,” Altit said. “We’re giving partners the chance to grow into new areas with a very low risk way to engage with new technologies. For a partner to get trained in new technology, it’s an expensive exercise and it takes time.
“We’re about helping partners solve some of their biggest problems, whether it's pre-sales, delivery or delivering a managed service, or a 24/7 service.”
Altit said there were also many lessons learnt along the way in his ‘different’ business model. In the past 10 years, Insentra played a hand in 3,000 projects, across 16 countries, with Altit taking particular pride in the fact that the company had never directly transacted with an end-user client.
“We had created a business model that challenged the status quo,” he said.
During this time, Insentra also embarked on international expansion with offices in New Zealand, U.S., U.K. and Philippines.
“We’ve also created a great place to work, proving that scaling doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your company’s culture,” he said.
“It’s also been a joy to bring new global ISVs into the market for Australia and New Zealand.”
Never compromising the business’ integrity is the top lesson that Altit has learnt throughout the years.
“Stay true to your priorities and partner for the things that you still want to deliver in outcomes for your clients,” Altit advised. “Don’t allow the current mania to compromise your integrity and what the essence of your organisation is about.”
In the past 10 years, some vendors have learned the value of the channel, and partners have also recognised the benefits in partner-to-partner engagement.
“In a partner-to-partner play, each partner will prioritise their own customer first, whereas for us every partner-to-partner is our client, which is important,” Altit said.
In the months ahead, Altit will be focusing on keeping his crew engaged and identifying areas where it will be adding value for partners.
“We’ll be looking for new trends and investing ahead of the curve and be ready for partners,” Altit said. “We’ll also be focused on helping partners in their managed services capabilities and we’ll continue to identify ISVs and bring them to market in our region and globally.”
“We’ll also continue to be partner obsessed,” he added.