Rookie of the Year: ViFX

Rookie of the Year: ViFX

At a Glance:

• Established in 2007; employs more than 20 staff

• Specialists in virtualisation, consolidation and cloud computing

• Expanding into Australia and Asia

• Client list includes Auckland City Council, University of Auckland and Genesis Energy

“ViFX’s commitment to IBM technology and investment in talent and skills development has been recognised by a number of our clients this year. This foundation has established a strong partnership with IBM, which has been developed through the trust and confidence that success engenders.” - Raymond Skoglund, IBM New Zealand channels manager.

ViFX, established in 2007, firmly believes that virtualisation will trigger the transformation of IT to a cloud computing model. “When we started the company,” says Derek Leitch, director of marketing and sales at ViFX, “we knew that virtualisation would be a growth industry. I’m not an overly technical person as such, but I immediately ‘got it’ when I first started to look into the technology while with Dell. The other founders and I recognised there would be a fast-growing market for a small, nimble company that specialised in this technology. So we formed ViFX to take advantage of these opportunities.”

The company name - ViFX - is a play on the acronyms, ‘VI’ (virtual infrastructure) and ‘FX’ (effects). Brought together, the business name ViFX embodies and represents the effects – the positive outcomes, agility and other benefits – that a virtualised IT infrastructure offers.

ViFX is a strong proponent of IBM virtualisation solutions. “IBM is a great tech company,” says Leitch, “and they, like us, ‘got it’ with virtualisation. So we are on the exact same wavelength in respect to the technology.”

Attracting talented staff has not been an issue for ViFX. In fact, it is constantly approached by skilled people who have heard about its work.

“We made a conscious decision to go for the high-end of the market and focus on building a reputation for excellence in the delivery of professional services,” continues Leitch. “We were one of the first companies to specialise in virtualisation and consolidation and were fortunate in attracting some high-profile clients. Since starting up, we’ve been able to log steady growth and build an extremely competent team.”

It is often difficult for start-ups to break into a market, even in an emerging one like virtualisation services. “When we started,” says Leitch, “the other directors and I had a high ‘network worth’. By that I mean that we all had years of experience in the local IT industry and had lots of contacts at all levels within a wide variety of enterprises. So when we started our marketing programme, we had a head start. And we have been able to benefit greatly from our informal advisory panel of leading executives at some of New Zealand’s largest private enterprises, who have given us valuable and practical advice as we have expanded.”

ViFX is moving into the Australian market. “It is a bigger challenge for us in Australia,” says Leitch, “as our ‘network worth’ is nowhere near what it was in New Zealand and there are more virtualisation specialists. But we have the right mix of skills and now we have a track record for service delivery so we are extremely optimistic.”

In addition to being an IBM Business Partner, ViFX is a VMware Authorised Consultancy, a VMware Premier Partner and a VMware Professional Services Organisation Partner and was awarded VMware’s Rising Star Award for 2008.

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