Why this Tamworth MSP had to drop 80 percent of its clients

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This article appeared in the June 2018 issue of CRN magazine.

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Why this Tamworth MSP had to drop 80 percent of its clients

Tamworth-headquartered Cloudwize Technologies’ Jo Byrnes and Daniel Sherwood know better than anyone that running a successful, pure-play managed services business in regional NSW relies on strong relationships with future-focused customers.

The business was formed in 2015 through a management buy-out when Byrnes and Sherwood acquired the IT division of their employer, a local print and office supplier.

While working in the business, they had already overseen the decision to do away with any third-party work and break-fix operations, a decision which saw them farewell about 80 percent of their clients, with Byrnes describing it like “ripping off a bandaid”.

“In order to stay with us our clients had to adopt the managed services model, and as you can imagine not everyone did. But it was an important and fundamental strategy to set the business up for the longer-term,” Byrnes told CRN.

“We found that running an ad-hoc break-fix business made it very difficult to plan resourcing while our own customers were playing second fiddle to third party break/fix clients. That is a very difficult business model to sustain,” Byrnes said.

“It was a bit of a bold move, nobody likes to give up revenue, but at the end of the day what we did then, and what we continue to do now as Cloudwize, is focus on profitability, which we were able to significantly enhance by going down that path.”

The managed services provider today has 14 staff and operates in a surrounding area that stretches from Mackay to Adelaide and across NSW. The company has even appointed its first CTO, who’ll operate out of Sydney and service the business’ growing client base there.

Byrnes said Cloudwize had a strategic focus on larger, regionally headquartered organisations, and that all clients were engaged under some form of service agreement.

“A lot of our clients are in the health sector, and particularly in the central west and out to Bourke where we support major health and allied health services in those locations,” Byrnes said.

“We are their outsourced IT provider, we design, develop and implement network architecture and then deliver their day-to-day helpdesk services and see to general ticket traffic.”

It’s this approach that recently saw Cloudwize take a major health services organisation, which operates from Sydney into the central west, into Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

“We deployed one of their core applications onto the Azure environment and set up all of their Sydney operations to run through that.  We were the first ones to deploy that particular application into a cloud environment,” Byrnes said.

“At the same time we migrated them from a different application and established the footprint for the rest of the organisation to move to that application once bandwidth becomes a more viable pathway to cloud services for them.

“From that exercise, that software vendor has been recommending us to new clients because we did such a seamless job.”

Inheriting Leading Edge Computers’ membership from the business assets it purchased at its foundation, Cloudwize said the partnership was a true value-add, with great buying power with vendors, high-level distributor relationships and ongoing support.

“When we’ve had large projects and have needed to adjust the terms of our accounts to cover the dollar value of these projects coming through, it’s just never been a problem,” Byrnes said.

“I know they’re always looking at ways to innovate and improve what they do or what services they offer and I think that’s just fantastic.”

Pictured above: Cloudwize's Jo Byrnes and Daniel Sherwood

This Regional Reseller profile was written in partnership with Leading Edge Computers. 
To find out how the Leading Edge Group can support your business, call 02 8732 9524 
or visit www.leadingedgegroup.com.au

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