Last year's Fast50 winner keeps the growth going

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This article appeared in the November 2014 issue of CRN magazine.

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Last year's Fast50 winner keeps the growth going
Jarrod Bloomfield and Brent Valle

With nearly 265 percent growth in last year’s CRN Fast50, No.1 reseller NGage faces what besets all fast-growing businesses – sustainability.

“We’ve maintained steady growth but we’re mindful not to try to grow too dramatically,” says NGage co-founder and client engagement director Jarrod Bloomfield.

“We’ve just maintained building the customers we already have, working with them on projects to make their environments more agile.”

Despite this consolidation phase, Bloomfield estimates about 40 percent of revenue last financial year was from “hearing about new stuff”.

He anticipates revenue growth of 50-60 percent in the coming 2014-15 financial year.

The rapid pace of growth brings with it the need to start people in new positions while not upsetting the delicate culture that led to the growth in the first place. “We’re big on culture, trying to maintain this environment for staff and customers. We encourage everyone to come with a lot of ideas, and to have fun at work but get the job done at the same time.”

The business has more than trebled in size to 13 full-timers. NGage has just moved into a 400m2 office in Clayton, south-east of Melbourne. It’s about 20 times the size of its old office and includes table tennis and a staff gym. A personal trainer visits once a week.

“It’s a big investment; we try to put as much money as we can back into developing the business. We’re seeing the benefits of introducing a bit of fun.”

It’s in preparation for what the founders see as a pending explosion in the use of cloud services by its clients, especially Microsoft Office 365: “We’re doing a lot around implementation and management of that suite.”

The reseller is also growing its flash storage business, expanding its trailblazing relationship with Silicon Valley start-up vendor Pure Storage. Enterprises keen to cut their carbon footprint and squeeze more life out of their data centres are coming on board. He says: “We’re seeing a rapid shift around people using it for all their production storage.” 

And it’s popular for hybrid storage solutions where data is accessed fast on-premise and traded with data in the cloud, he says.

“We’re looking at how we can help clients with virtual desktop (VDI) deployments around using flash and some other technology out there.”

To this end, NGage is employing software from Dutch vendor Login VSI to simulate VDI deployments. A problem when deploying virtual desktops for customers is anticipating the real-world strain that will be placed on networks, servers and storage. Bloomfield hopes that accurate simulation will result in better deployments that anticipate demand accurately.

“So many people start [VDI] because it’s one of the new technologies and then only get halfway through it. But it doesn’t suit every organisation either – you have to be smart and do it for the right reasons.”

As last year’s top dog, Bloomfield also encourages other resellers to get on board with the CRN Fast50.

“That’s definitely a great story,” he says. “Customers like good news stories. Definitely the Fast50 is a great talking point for customers and is proof they’re dealing with the right people.”

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