Knowing when to jump on the next big thing has propelled NGage Technology Group into the top 10 of the CRN Fast50 for the fourth year in a row. Jarrod Bloomfield, who founded Melbourne-based NGage with partner Brent Valle in 2011, attributes early success to the decision to back an unknown storage vendor that at the time pushed a radical flash silicon technology over spinning disks.
“The partnership with Pure Storage got us involved in more projects because we were their original partner and have a great understanding of that technology,” says Bloomfield. “That won us a lot of credibility with larger customers who, if we partnered with older storage companies, we wouldn’t have been exposed to.”
While educating customers about new technology takes patience and investment, the reseller – which was No.1 in the 2013 CRN Fast50 – says the fact it pre-empted a trend boosts credibility among prospects.
“When Pure came to Australia, there wasn’t a push for all-flash in the data centre; it was still deemed as expensive and not required, but now, three-to-four years on, it’s mainstream,” says Bloomfield.
There was risk in picking up an untried, upstart storage vendor seeking to up-end data centre storage, but Bloomfield says the greater risk was being ignored by big, incumbent and traditional vendors.
“It’s hard to get mindshare in bigger vendors when you’re small because they have their go-to partners who are bigger; so it was time to look to a vendor that we could work really closely with,” he says.
“You have to be patient with newer vendors because it takes longer for clients to adopt newer technology [that is] unproven and doesn’t have a lot of customer references. You don’t want an impatient salesperson to sell it. You have to remember they’re a startup as well, not every rule is in place and sometimes rules of engagement change.”
While the company more than doubled in revenue to $27.7 million in 2016 (more than 10 times its 2013 turnover), products alone have not been the driving force in NGage’s growth trajectory. Bloomfield and Valle pivoted their starting business model from a hardware reseller to a managed services provider. Bloomfield says NGage’s services organisation grew up to 300 percent in the past year.
NGage is now accelerating plans to build its own products around vendors such as Splunk, Palo Alto, Cisco and Turbonomic (formerly VMTurbo). NGage has a significant win with storied Collins Street law firm Arnold Bloch Leibler in Melbourne for its DR-as-a-service. Bloomfield says onlookers can expect more like this in the year ahead.
Pictured above: Brent Valle and Jarrod Bloomfield, NGage Technology Group
Key executives Jarrod Bloomfield, Brent Valle
HQ Clayton, Melbourne, Vic
2016 revenue $27.7m
Top vendors Pure Storage, Dell, Splunk, Palo Alto, Cisco, Turbonomic