Friday Solutions grows vendor investment beyond Oracle niche

Friday Solutions grows vendor investment beyond Oracle niche

Founder and director Robert Lilley tells Reseller News about the provider’s decision to diversify its vendor base after more than a decade.

Credit: Oracle

Friday Solutions has long held a niche in the New Zealand channel as a specialist Oracle partner, but not for much longer. 

After 11 years in business, the Auckland provider has decided to move from being a single-vendor partner to embracing multiple relationships, signing a raft of new partnerships with IBM, Tableau, Software AG and Snowflake. 

Although Friday Solutions has long benefitted from its Oracle relationships, gaining Gold status and securing customers across the multinational enterprise, central government and health landscapes, the last few months have seen a need to shift tack. 

Speaking to Reseller News, founder and director Robert Lilley explained that while Oracle “remained a huge part” of the business, customers were increasingly asking for a more diversified set of solutions, driving the need for the company to “build a more rounded proposition”. 

“Before we knew it, we had been working with IBM and Tableau on several implementations and decided it was time formalise some of those relationships with signed agreements. And we realised that a foot in both camps is seen as having value for us," he said.

In recent months, Friday Solutions has completed projects involving vendors such as Wherescape Red, IBM, Qlik, Kafka, Snowflake, Tableau and Webmethods by Software AG. 

According to Lilley, Oracle NZ took the news of Friday Solutions' diversification well, adding that there was no “push factor” in the decision.  

“We have a really good relationship with [Oracle NZ managing director] John Eastman,” he said. “It's the chicken and egg of you need to have the capability to sell and build. But you need the projected growth of foreign investments in the capability. And John's been a very positive supporter of ours, which has been great.  

"It's quite common for consultancies to work with a number of vendors and obviously, in an ideal world, you try to ensure that things complement rather than conflict. So, it is all about trust and transparency within those relationships within the channel. At the end of the day, the Australian and New Zealand channel are surprisingly small. It's about working with, rather than against, this strategy.” 

Founded in 2010 by Lilley, a former IBM executive, Friday Solutions’ name came from the positive vibes coming from the word and day of the week. 

The company now has 30 people, spread across Auckland and Wellington, who are now working two days on, two days off in the office following last year’s lockdown. 

According to Lilley, the company is now actively recruiting new technical capabilities to boost its new vendor offerings. However, that’s a challenge given New Zealand’s border closures.  

“We are actively recruiting at the moment, which is trying to commit to timelines gets quite hard,” he said. “And of course, having so few people come into New Zealand has really demonstrated the need to bring skilled people into the country.” 

Fortunately, Friday is backed up already by skills in IBM and Tableau analytics. “Essentially, we had the skills before we had the certifications,” Lilley said. 

“So, formalising the relationships doesn’t change things on day one, but as we go forward in the future, it narrows the conversations we have regarding those vendors.  

“How can we work in other organisations? How can we bring forward a capability to some of the changes that they've got engaged in so actually within?” 

Looking forward, Lilley remained buoyed despite the uncertainty relating to New Zealand’s reopening to the rest of the world.  

“We've kept on growing and we're fortunate from what the larger organisations that are impacted by COVID, everyone is investing in automation...for which integration of middleware is an essential enabler,” he said.  

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