BizTech Enterprise Solutions doesn’t sound like a marketing agency. Yet the company was last year crowned as Adobe’s top-performing Australia and New Zealand partner at the software vendor’s Digital Marketing Symposium in Sydney in front of 1,500 marketers.
The path to award-winning consultancy was far from straightforward. BizTech has been in this incarnation – its fourth – for just eight years. It began life in Russia as a Flash and Flex specialist before cycling through Adobe products such as LiveCycle, Analytics, Experience Manager and Campaign. Now in Australia for 26 years with headquarters in Melbourne, its 65 staff are spread across Sydney, Canberra, New Zealand, Singapore and Moscow.
The shift from licence dealer to business problem-solver required bolting on all manner of services. BizTech needed to know how to deliver business analysis, business cases, marketing and analytics and consumer strategies. Implementation and support had to change, as did language and appearance.
“We changed from a company that dealt primarily with CIOs and IT to one that deals with the whole organisation,” says chief executive Michael Patishman. “What a CMO expects and needs versus a business leader, CIO or team manager are very different, even if it’s all part of the same project.”
Change was difficult. Highly trained techies had to learn how to be articulate in front of an executive audience – not just about technical issues, but also business and marketing. The company groomed staff to become “people people”, hired specific experts in business analysis and business automation. Resellers need to make a similar transition from technical delivery to strategy, Patishman says.
“Business drives IT, IT doesn’t drive business. The minute [resellers] wrap their heads around that and the business problems they need to solve, that’s where the future lies. More and more IT is becoming commoditised. If you’re not solving a business problem, who cares about what you do?”
Patishman remembers the days when resellers could make a lot of money selling desktop computers. Now networking and data centres are next on the list. “I feel sorry for anyone who is running around with their data centres because Amazon is mopping up. Anyone who is not continuously looking forward will eventually find their expenses are higher than revenue, and then you’re stuffed.”
While IT projects are often referred to as a heart and lung transplant for an organisation, consumer experience and digital experience affect every part. In other words, digital marketing is not for the faint-hearted. The scale of a typical project is even more daunting when you consider the hurdles digital marketing agencies must overcome.
Enterprises face three challenges in this area, Patishman says. The technical complexity and barrier of entry to becoming a fast, agile organisation is changing rapidly. “NAB used to do four changes to its website per quarter,” Patishman says. “Now it’s making 40 changes a day.” When you factor in the levels of integration and security for a Big Four bank, this is pretty remarkable.
Unsurprisingly, switching from a slow-moving behemoth to a nimble enterprise requires an enormous amount of change management. “The conversations with the head of legal took two months to approve a content change,” Patishman says.. “You don’t have time for that any more. You can imagine, for a product manager and business manager, it’s a huge impact.”
The third hurdle is reworking every process for delivering the consumer experience so that it moves as quickly as a small company. BizTech follows an agile methodology itself so that it doesn’t suffer from the same issues it’s trying to solve.
“If we spent 18 months defining what they need to do then they will get a plan that’s 18 months old and no longer relevant,” Patishman says. “When it comes to getting projects over the line and educating customers on what they’re getting into, you need them to understand and co-operate.”
- Head office Melbourne, VIC
- Established 2008
- Top executives Michael Patishman, Tim Goodman (CTO and co-owner)
- Headcount 65
- Vendors Adobe, ABBYY
- Sector Enterprise digital marketing