Examining a year in the market for Kiwi start-up, Parallo

Examining a year in the market for Kiwi start-up, Parallo

Formerly part of ViFX, Parallo entered the Kiwi market in June 2017

Symon Thurlow (Parallo) and Shaun Webber (Parallo)

Symon Thurlow (Parallo) and Shaun Webber (Parallo)

Credit: Parallo

Relationships, reputation and customer service - billed as the three leading hallmarks of success for emerging start-up, Parallo.

Formerly part of ViFX, Parallo entered the market in June 2017, delivering a breed of creativity that has helped shake up the traditional channel in New Zealand.

With a deliberate focus on managed services, backed up by solid professional services capabilities, the Auckland-based provider is showing no signs of slowing down 12 months on, with trans-Tasman expansion plans accelerating at pace.

“At our core we are a managed services business and since the buyout, our consulting engagement and professional services has grown markedly,” Parallo co-founder and regional director, Shaun Webber, said.

“Our growth has been across all our service lines; data protection, on premise critical infrastructure, and cloud management. We’ve got a unique approach and what’s working is the relationship. We don’t take shortcuts. We’re open and honest.”

And such expertise is playing out in the numbers, with staff numbers increasing 50 per cent during FY18, and revenue growth exceeding expectations to top out at 55 per cent growth.

The secret sauce, if such a thing exists, is built around close-knit vendor partnerships, with the start-up leveraging expertise across VMware and Commvault solutions and services.

Central to success has been a deepening relationship with Microsoft in New Zealand, building off four years of Microsoft Azure expertise in the market.

Through delivering managed services to cloud-first users locally, Parallo reached Microsoft Gold Partner status in 2017, enabling the start-up to purchase Azure licensing direct from the vendor, bypassing distribution in the process.

“As we went through the process of prioritising our service and talking to more Microsoft customers, and as we got deeper into Azure, it became obvious that it would be incredibly difficult to excel at more than one of the public clouds,” Parallo co-founder and CEO, Symon Thurlow, explained.

“They simply change so fast, weekly product updates are now coming out.”

As reported by Reseller News, Microsoft rolled out One Commercial Partner to the world in early 2017, in a move designed to reshape the vendor’s go-to-market strategy through the channel.

Billed as one of the most fundamental changes to the channel in recent history - such was the internal size and scale of the transformation - the end result is a more streamlined strategy around partnering, a strategy Parallo is building on in New Zealand.

“Looking forward, we made the strategic decision to focus exclusively on the Azure public cloud, and to further specialise by looking to work with businesses putting apps on Azure,” Thurlow added.

“This highly specialised focus has enabled our Microsoft relationship to strengthen significantly (they are a key strategic partner) and that combination of our focus and the internal changes (Microsoft becoming a more dynamic and partner focused organisation) – let’s just say it’s a great time to be a Microsoft partner.”

From an internal perspective, Thurlow said Parallo now employs developers within a dedicated Azure business unit, combining expertise with current VMWare infrastructure capabilities.

“They deliver a true hybrid infrastructure service with a focus on targeted technology, there’s not a scattergun approach in sight,” Thurlow added.

Reflective of the changing dynamics of the market, Parallo is an engineering led business, with innovation and agility the company’s “modus operandi”.

“We recognise that great service delivery and true customer satisfaction lies in hands-on experience,” Thurlow said. “The shareholders of the company are all engineers and this ethos is central to investing, retaining, and developing their engineering team as well as every piece of business they engage in.”

Meanwhile across the Tasman, and since moving to Melbourne in January, Webber has spearheaded efforts to expand deeper into Australia, with most core customers sitting within the large corporate space, alongside healthcare and higher education.

“Our existing Australian customers have embraced us with open arms and so has the vendor community,” Webber added.

“Now that they see we are committed to our Australian business rather than the fly-in-fly-out opportunistic model, the doors have really opened.”

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