New Zealand IT consultancy Practiv has opened a base in Australia under the leadership of Cloud House founder Jordan Greig.
Founded in 2000, Practiv specialises in cloud consultancy, partnering with the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Snowflake, Databricks and Google Cloud and operating in New Zealand and the United States.
Greig, whose company Cloud House was bought by Bulletproof in 2016, previously led Australian AWS shop Versent in NSW, Queensland and New Zealand.
Speaking to Reseller News, Greig claimed that Practiv aimed to fix the “broken” consultancy model in the Australian market.
“Everyone’s heard of the saying: ‘a consultant is just someone who empties your wallet to tell you the time by your own watch'. In the tech world, almost anybody that’s worked with a third-party consultant at one point or another will be able to regale frustrating stories involving confusion, jargon, misunderstandings and the hard sell.”
Continuing, Greig argued that most companies that seek the help of consultants often begin their journey from a point of negativity because they’ve been stung before.
“So in short, the consultancy system is broken because of its own arrogance. It has failed to truly communicate the value of independent expertise that it brings to the business world,” he added.
“Many consultancies have reached a certain size where it’s hard to stay at the forefront of new tech trends, and they’ve invested so deeply in certain partnerships over the past decade that it’s hard for them to refocus and drive the best outcome for their customers.”
Practiv has offices in Sydney and Brisbane and works with a range of public and private sector organisations across Australia and New Zealand, including Westpac, Bupa, IAG, Equifax and Xero.
It also claims to have 50 consultants already working with it in the Australian market.
Elaborating on how Practiv aims to be different from its competitors, Greig said: “The excuse ‘it’s always been done that way’ doesn’t mean it’s the best option. My goal is to build a data and cloud consultancy that is agnostic and genuinely delivers the best business outcomes for our customers without a bias or lock-in to a specific vendor or technology.”
Specifying what needs to change, Greig argued that consultants need to be more attentive listeners to their customers' needs.
“Only by truly understanding what your client is looking to achieve can you suggest a solution that’s actually going to work,” he said.
He also claimed that consultants need to work better with non-technical executives within a company, to understand how their business is run.
“And finally, the third thing that needs to change is the narrowness of tech expertise,” he added. “If you’re just an expert in one kind of technology, then you’re only going to be able to fix a specific type of problem, and you’ll start shoehorning in your one solution to problems it can’t fix. After all, every problem starts to look like a nail if the only tool you’ve got in the box is a hammer. But if you’re an expert in a wide variety of technology, you can pick the right tool for the job at hand — once you’ve understood the problem inside out, of course.”