Enterprise virtualisation specialist ViFX in January acquired IT service management vendor, Delta Software.
The buyout gives the Auckland-based reseller tools for automating network policies in large-scale virtualised environments.
The dollar value of the acquisition was not disclosed, but according to a statement released by ViFX, the deal establishes a Service Management practice to be headed by Delta’s founder and managing director, David Gandar and adds about a dozen people to its New Zealand staff, bringing its local numbers to about. Gandar’s title is now general manager.
ViFX, a VMware Premier Partner, services organisations with 500 or more seats. While the company sees opportunity in helping enterprises virtualise at home, it is reaching overseas with offices in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. The acquisition brings the number of New Zealand employees up to about 50, in addition to 30 in its Singapore office.
ViFX managing director Geoff Olliff says the deal sharpens its focus by adding the ability for their customers to quickly implement policies when virtualising.
“The key principle from my strategic point of view is that large scale organisations are not going to be able to take advantage of cloud computing unless they get the policy framework right around how they supply computing to their business,” he says.
“This service management discipline is really a core part of getting all that thinking done so they can automate and virtualise and get SaaS into the business in a coherent way.”
The value ViFX finds in the acquisition is the marriage of the virtualisation specialty with Delta’s “policy frameworks and IT discipline”, Olliff says, which is built around Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) standards.
They define IT service catalogues, configuration databases, and all that really critical stuff in terms of process and policy,” Olliff says. “Putting the two together is quite exciting.”
Competing in the age of the specialist
Olliff says ViFX was founded in 2007 with the enterprise virtualisation space in mind. The reseller works mainly with VMware, but uses IBM, EMC and NetApp storage solutions as well. However, Olliff says the company aims to be vendor independent, while maintaining its focus on design and architecture rather than a specific technology.
Olliff says that by maintaining a sharp focus, ViFX did not come head to head with large Tier 1 resellers often when it started.
“We still don’t find that we compete with large IT providers often,” he says. “We’re a very focused organisation. We have one area and we spend every waking minute on doing it, whereas other organisations take a wide range of offerings to the market and they have different strengths.”
The company has won recognition for its growth and strategy. Last year, ViFX was ranked 22 in Deloitte’s Fast 50 in New Zealand, and was a finalist in the University of Auckland Business School’s Entrepreneurs’ Challenge.
Olliff expects growth to continue, driven by a skills shortage and the need of organisations to manage IT with smaller staff, and by the need of customers to concentrate less on daily IT operations and more on innovation and creative thinking.
Olliff sees specialisation as key to reseller success.
“There’s no place for the generalist,” he says. “However I don’t think the environment is getting any easier. For a non IT person running their own business, this space is not getting any easier, it’s no simpler to work out what to do. So good quality advice expertise and assistance are still going to be required Not just putting boxes on desks and cables in.”
“If I were even qualified to offer advice, I would suggest find something to be good at, something that is needed, focus on it and get good at it. “That is going to set organisations up for a greater degree of success than if they take a jack of all trades approach.”