Marketing plan to open work floodgate
- 26 July, 2007 22:00
Securecom bought the infrastructure part of Simpl last November and has since been able to attract new business, offering a wider range of services to existing clients in its core market of 50-500 seat firms.
Although the growth has seen staff numbers double each year since it was founded by Jon Kalaugher and business partner Andrew Holding in 2002, they have controlled the expansion so as to be manageable.
As Kalaugher says, “We’ve never really done any marketing, it’s all been referral driven which is fantastic”. In fact, Securecom has been doing business in Australia due to client demand, but it has more than enough work to contend with locally.
However, the planned joint-marketing initiative with Simpl could bring a major boost to the amount of work and Securecom has been preparing to make sure it can cope with the anticipated new business.
“We’ve been making a big investment in people and resources. Things like back-end infrastructure, storage area networks and virtualisation platforms, a help desk integrated with a CRM system and new business management systems.”
After moving from Simpl’s building in south Auckland to nearer the central city in late June, Securecom has appointed managers for its engineering teams to allow Kalaugher and Holding to focus on the oversight of the business. It has also adopted the ITIL framework and recruited consultants to train staff in ITIL.
While doing extensive business with its vendor partners, Securecom has focused on achieving formal certifications in the last year. It is now a Microsoft Gold partner, a Citrix Silver partner, a VMware Enterprise partner, a Cisco-certifed partner, an HP Premier partner, an IBM Business partner and a McAfee Security Alliance partner.
The marketing campaign with Simpl will focus on Securecom’s track record of customer wins.
“We’ve had some really good success stories in the enterprise space, such as Ports of Auckland. We can say, ‘this is the work our consultants have already done and maybe they can help you out as well’.
“Success breeds success and people look at us as a place that’s getting it right.”
Kalaugher says before founding Securecom, he and Holding had considered setting up separate businesses after getting to know each other as IT engineers and managers. However, they saw potential synergies that made working together more sensible.
“There was a definite opportunity in the market in the infrastructure and security space. We’re infrastructure guys.”
The partnership with Simpl resulted from customer requests, Kalaugher says.
“People wanted software development and services that weren’t our core focus. There’s a risk of trying to be all things to everyone so we went to market for a partner.”
Kalaugher says the deal has allowed Securecom to add more value to existing customers and to attract new clients.
It has already won some new hosting business for a government customer, he says. “We’ve been quite furiously working on that for the last few months.”
Shipping, logistics and health are other markets it increasingly tapped into since the partnership with Simpl, Kalaugher says.
Virtualisation and hosting are the fastest growing areas of Securecom’s business and Kalaugher says it has been exciting to see the development of virtualisation as a paradigm.
He says hosting is becoming a realistic option for smaller organisations, typically with 20 to 400 desktops. Securecom now uses two datacentres – one is Telstraclear’s in Albany, and one is in Brisbane. The two are linked by a wide area network.
With seven infrastructure staff moving across to Securecom from Simpl, staff now number about 40. In the most recent recruitment drive Securecom took on six more engineers, no mean feat given the current skill shortage.
“The Christmas parties have got bigger and bigger and more expensive every year,” Kalaugher says.
The company wants to ensure staff are attracted and retained and aims for a fun and challenging environment. “We want to be a place where people want to come and work.”
Staff drinks and social events are regular occurences at the new premises. Also, staff are given contract incentives for certifications and there is regular in-house training.
“We want to make sure there’s a really good opportunity for them to advance. Someone can start on the help desk and in 15 years lead work with some prestigious organisations.”