Nexus enters the ARN Reseller of the Year Award

We have entered, after much badgering from some of our friends and partners in the industry and industry press, the ARN Reseller of The Year Awards.   Two small clarifications:

  1. Reseller is an ugly word; we dont just buy stuff to sell it at a profit – we are service led, and carefully architect solutions which often require hardware and software, which we provide so that we can the add value with the services that define our business and its mission.
  2. We are painfully aware that this is an industry event and as such a little … inward looking at best.  However, if we can raise our profile and enhance our partnerships with key people in the industry through this avenue, then we feel that this can translate into value for the most important stakeholders – our customers.

Plus, let’s be honest, it would be great to win some acknowledgement that Nexus really does have the best team in our market.

Here is the information that we have submitted:

  1. Describe the organisation’s focus and SMB solution set.

Over 15 years Nexus IT & Communications Solutions has been a service led business focussing on designing, delivering and managing IT infrastructure solutions and digital media assets and workflows.  We have been consistent in our SMB focus over that time, but constantly updating our skills and offerings in line with changing & evolving technologies and business conditions.

With 70% of our clients being SMBs, and being an SMB ourselves, we truly understand the core drivers for IT in smaller businesses, with the pressures of maintaining critical systems with limited budgets.  The solutions have evolved this year with more consideration and uptake on “Cloud” services, the maturation of our app and mobility capabilities and maintenance of the core IT business, updated with additional partners to address emerging needs and opportunities.

Approximately 20% of our business comes from Not-For-Profit organisations, where   higher standards of diligence and rigour required compared to a comparable private business, along with budget constraints and the need to work differently with vendor partners remains a key offering. These same higher compliance standards for this group of customers have had a positive effect of setting the benchmark engagement standards across our entire business.

The digital marketing and publishing arm of our business has some cross over with the above markets, but also includes mid-market and enterprise clients.  Digital Asset Management, media workflow and brand automation solutions, coupled with in-house development and interfaces forms the major part of our offering in this space.  The clients here include major advertising agencies and Australia’s largest media company, News Limited.

Across all these clients and engagements, we maintain some simple philosophies, trying to really understand what success will look like from the client’s point of view and running a ‘document first’ delivery process, to maintain quality in engagement and align with the customer.

  1. What innovative solution(s) has the organisation developed/delivered/provisioned that helped win business in the last 12 months?

In the SMB market a large part of the focus was assisting the customer’s journey to Cloud. Nexus continued skilling up and also formed partnerships with and around key partners like Amazon Web Services and Telstra for Office 365 as well as leveraging other existing vendor relationships   in order to help customers make the best decision and take up the most appropriate offerings.

At the same time, not every business requirement suits cloud and there remains a strong case for low cost on premise solutions in the SMB market.  The new partnership we formed with Nimble Storage is just one example where we were able to deliver value and get a case study win with our client the Australian Institute of Management amongst others.

We extended the capability of core in house developed managed service software platform Red-X, to improve our cloud capabilities, extend the vendor coverage and improve automation, keeping our managed services product at the forefront of the market. A by-product of this continued investment in our internal systems was the significant productivity improvements and cost saving that automation delivers.

The Red-X upgrade was instrumental as a differentiator in our win of a 3 year contract at public tender at Museum of Contemporary Art, one of our key NFP clients, where the automation delivered greatly expanded IT service coverage.

Similarly, a new Nexus developed mobile app for Blacktown Workers Club added key venue booking, social media integration and event publicity to help drive their community engagement.

In the digital publishing space, we launched iBrams, a marketing automation platform with great interest and a win with a major car manufacturer, we well and completing stage one of two  XML publishing projects with a legal publisher and in the defence industry.

  1. What growth has the organisation experienced in the last 12 months?

While 2012/13 was a tough year for the IT industry in Australia, with some clients delaying IT investments around the economic uncertainty, maintaining our focus and extending our capabilities allowed us some wins against larger rivals.

In the SMB and infrastructure spaces, our focus was on getting customers the right outcome in tight economic circumstances, being agile and innovative with solution delivery instead of forklift upgrading.  We had half a dozen wins implementing, extending or tuning Citrix environments, including SGT Trust, a mid-sized accounting firm and YHA’s extensive hostel network.

In 2013 we joined the NSW State Government procurement list and, bringing our value around high quality with the right budget, were able to get an immediate win with a BaaS deal, with other DR services in the pipeline.

In the NFP market, in addition to the MCA win, an infrastructure refresh at Blacktown Workers Club and projects for other clients, updating virtual infrastructure and guiding the cloud uptake, usually around improving DR.  We had a late win with some Symantec appliance work with an Aboriginal health organisation.

In the media market, as well as extending the roll-out of our DALiM enterprise workflow at News Limited and maintaining footprint in advertising agencies (including a big Nimble win at M&C Saatchi), the launch of iBrams marketing automation was the key growth factor.  A new alliance extended our market into big brands with a requirement for local area marketing capabilities, a proposition with great ROI and the prospect of disrupting the market.

  1. Why do you think the organisation should win this award? Please support your answer with examples of your achievements over the past 12 months.

Our unwavering focus and understanding of SMB clients in a tough environment allowed us success in a tough year.  We stayed differentiated from the pack by sticking to what we know and excel at – right sized IT, adjusting our vendor portfolio to ensure the correct client vendor set, and really driving a close client engagement.

We continued to invest in our staff and grew our headcount over the year andretained our key staff in service design and delivery and so enhancing the sales function.  Our staff is the best team we have ever had, which is reflected in the results with both existing and new clients, and a much expanded prospect base.

We built and improved existing vendor & distributor engagement, with rigorous engagement with new vendors to enhance our offering generating win win transactions for client and vendor.  Nexus attained 30+ additional certifications, renewing our Microsoft Gold SMB certifications and added Lync, Office 365, Windows and other security, storage and networking credentials to our name, adding to our capabilities and cheerfully meeting our commitments to vendor partnerships.

We successfully brought new products to new and existing markets, with Nimble Storage and iBrams marketing automation being the stand-out achievements.

Nexus was also able to prove customer satisfaction through independent customer satisfaction surveys run by both client and vendors, where we consistently scored in the 90%+ bracket with our end user stakeholders.

We delivered better infrastructure with improves TCO, RTO and ROI for clients, proving our core value of true client partnership and delivering measurable results in IT. Attention to detail and getting it right the first time makes Nexus a guiding light in the SMB IT space

In summary while it was a challenging year in the market we still managed to have some great wins with new and existing customers.  Nexus by applying the same internal discipline, focus  and rigour we deliver to our SMB customers we were able to adapt, grow and be profitable to set us up for more of the same in 2013-14.

Sean Murphy

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