Expanding Exclusive Networks targets new vendors across A/NZ

Expanding Exclusive Networks targets new vendors across A/NZ

What Exclusive Networks’ new local managing director has in store for the coming year

(L-R) Dominic Whitehand, Sharon Whitehand, Jonathan Odria of Exclusive Networks

(L-R) Dominic Whitehand, Sharon Whitehand, Jonathan Odria of Exclusive Networks

New vendors and further growth in the local market are two of the top priorities for Exclusive Networks’ new managing director for the Pacific region, Jonathan Odria, as he steps into the role.

Odria’s ascension to the leadership of the distributor’s business in the local market comes as fellow founders, Dominic and Sharon Whitehand, step away from their roles following the completion of the earnout terms struck when Exclusive Networks Group acquired a majority stake in WhiteGold Solutions nearly four years ago.

It was in July 2014 when Exclusive Networks Group -- the French-based value-added distributor -- bought a 70 per cent stake in WhiteGold Solutions.

The deal came nearly 12 years after the founding of WhiteGold by Odria and the husband and wife team, Dominic and Sharon Whitehand. In March 2015, the company officially became Exclusive Networks Australia.

The three founders continued to be shareholders of the business in Australia, holding 10 per cent each. Now that the earnouts have been completed, it is understood that Exclusive Networks Group holds 100 per cent ownership of the local business.

Sharon Whitehand, who was the company’s operations and finance director, will step away from her role entirely.

Dominic, meanwhile, who held the role of managing director, Pacific, will continue on in a one-day-a-week advisory, marketing and public relations role.

For Odria, who was previously the company’s Asia Pacific sales director, the move into the leadership role represents an opportunity to spearhead the company’s growth in the local market and bolster its vendor portfolio.

"We’re going to continue to push our value-add proposition around our services, our ability to assist the partner community with marketing initiatives,” Odria told ARN. “One of our goals in 2018 is to really bring on a well-known vendor into our portfolio.

“We have a list of vendors that we would like to target for our Australian and New Zealand business. Some of those vendors will align with what we’re doing internationally, and some vendors would be strategic for us in terms of what we want to achieve here in the A/NZ markets."

Given that Exclusive Networks parted ways with Sophos in June last year, Odria hopes to pick up at least one other big name cyber security vendor, or more, along with additional vendors to bulk up the offering by Exclusive Networks’ data centre division, BigTec.

“We’ve always been very strong in the security space, so a lot of them would be very strong in the security market," Ordria added. "And we’re also looking at adding some vendors in our BigTec portfolio."

At the same time, Odria wants to provide guidance and support for the host of internal promotions that have given way to the distributor's next wave of executives, and the growth goals the company has set itself over the next year.

Among the new appointments is the company’s Fortinet business unit manager, Kaarena Chapman, who has been promoted to the role of national sales manager.

Also promoted was systems development manager, Sam Ney, who is now Exclusive Networks’ operations manager for the Pacific region, and finance controller, Ian Bethune, who has been appointed as new finance director.

“Having myself, Dominic and Sharon run the business for 15 years, and having two of those people move out of business, it does have some impact on the staff,” Odria told ARN. “So, I wanted to stay on board to minimise that impact, and make sure they know that we’re still here to support them.

“I wanted to ensure that, with one of us still on board, there’s still one of the founders from the original team on board with the team."

A particular focus for Odria this year is the Exclusive Networks’ continued growth in the New Zealand market, which has been building steadily since Alex Teh was appointed as NZ country manager and BigTec A/NZ general manager in January last year.

“From my perspective, I want to see the continued growth of the organisation in Australia and New Zealand, and especially across the board in New Zealand, where we’ve appointed a new country manager at the beginning of the year, and we’ve seen some exceptional growth out of New Zealand since then,” Odria said.

Already, the New Zealand business is performing well. According to Odria, it finished off the 2017 financial year with 60 per cent year-on-year revenue growth.

At the same time, the Australian business saw 23.4 per cent year-on-year revenue growth. Overall, the consolidated year-on-year revenue growth for the local business came in at 27 per cent.

In the words of Odria, it was “exceptional growth, considering the challenges in the year, and we just want to continue to do that, and have that growth over the next 12 months".

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