In 2017, Ericom’s general manager Kyle Page took his team away to devise a 2020 vision for the company’s future.
A decision was made to target aggressive growth over the next three years rather than coast with incremental growth.
Fast-forward three years. How did the unified communications specialist do? Well, its position in the CRN Fast50 speaks for itself. In 2019 alone, the company raked in $22.5 million in revenue, growing 93 percent and earning a spot in the Fast50 top 10.
How did they do it? Page said it really came down to “old-fashioned stuff”.
“I use the words ‘old-fashioned’ because sometimes it can get lost how significant that can be,” Page said.
“All of our 50-odd employees took ownership of what we set down as a plan. So we communicated to our teams, our teams got excited, and when you’ve got people excited to come into work every day, there’s a different noise level, there’s different interactions with customers.
“And when that’s across the board from the accounts department to the technicians in managed services, all of a sudden it’s easy to operate when people are rowing the boat in the same direction. That’s been the true success this year, having every one of our employees equally engaged.”
Ericom also found an opportunity to work in a new vertical that’s since become its top-performing business unit: corrections.
Page said Ericom managed to accidentally stumble into the field, as its track record of working on telephony and working with government clients helped it to win a $45 million deal to upgrade the ageing phone systems of 38 prisons across New South Wales. The deal impressed CRN enough that Ericom became a finalist in the ‘Customer Experience’ category in the 2019 CRN IMPACT Awards.
Ericom sees its relationship with Telstra as an invaluable factor in its success. The company was named Telstra’s overall Enterprise Partner of the Year, Enterprise UC Partner of the Year and Telstra-Cisco Partner of the Year in 2019.
“That’s what that sign from Telstra was to us, that we got the story right with our people and they took it to our customers and we got some great customer stories as a result,” Page said.
Page said Ericom has made a concerted effort to work in lock-step with Telstra and align with the giant telco. It’s no secret Telstra has had a turbulent few years in recent times, but Page isn’t fazed, quite the opposite.
“We see the disruption at Telstra, and it’s pretty massive, as being a big win for us. It’s an opportunity for partners who know how to execute, and know how to get out in front of customers.,” he said.
“That’s part of our plan, like the changes with Telstra Purple for instance. Some partners may see that as a threat, we see it as an opportunity to partner with them and deliver outcomes to customers.”
Looking ahead to the next three years, Ericom has its sights set on the same opportunity as Telstra: the advent of 5G. Page knows that’s where Ericom needs to expand next, and made no secret about the fact that his company wants to make an acquisition to get there.
“We’ve sat and contemplated whether we just employ some good people and use our skills to grow a mobile business. We realised it would take two years to do that, whereas if I go and buy an existing managed service provider in 5G, a Telstra partner, that would be a quicker way to bring that DNA to our business, because it’s something we’re missing.”
Key executives: Kyle Page