Ian Poole has long been an Australian channel luminary. Starting out in IT as an engineer in 1976 at AWA, which saw him working at now-defunct Nortel Canada, he has also seen management stints at Honeywell and Alcatel Lucent, where he rose to head seven divisions in Australia. Looking to go it alone, he bought out one of the divisions 50/50 with UXC and renamed it Integ. He headed this for nine years boosting its revenue to $75 million a year and employing 170 people. In 2012 he merged XSI and Getronics with Integ to form the colossus UXC Connect, which over the past twelve months grew 25 per cent and now has a turnover of $227 million. Poole has also attending the Saint Vincent De Paul's executive sleep out for four years running, and regularly works with the homeless to improve their lives.
ARN's Allan Swann sat down to discuss the company's ongoing growth, and his plans through 2015.
Allan Swann (AS): What made you merge all these businesses to create UXC Connect? It seemed like a very timely move in hindsight...
IP: We could see things happening quickly. Especially the smaller reseller organisations; with the advent of cloud and consumerisation, you needed to have a far broader offering around the services side.
The reselling component, that is software and hardware, was becoming more difficult. So we merged all those companies together, and then I became CEO of UXC Connect.
The whole process took two and a half years, but its done now. These mergers don't happen overnight, its taken a while -- and there have been so many changes in the market and challenges associated with that.
If we had kept those three companies, XSI which was a storage company, Integ, which was a networks company, and Getronics, which was a managed services company -- we would be nowhere near the power that we are now.
Brewing them all together was key.
AS: So what are the key challenges in the marketplace, and how did you get your business to adapt?
IP: There are several things that are driving the big changes in the market. With the IoT and Big Data, there's more and more data out there, and people want to be able to do more with the information. There are some really big market drivers for that because network capacity is now a big issue -- which is right up our alley.
It varies from sector to sector, but public- especially government - are still refreshing infrastructure. But it's the same as any organisation -- you aren't refreshing infrastructure for the sake of refreshing infrastructure -- it's got to be outcome based.
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