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Michael Bosnar: The ultimate businessman

Jennifer O'Brien | Nov. 26, 2014
Michael Bosnar, long-time IT veteran, is the quintessential entrepreneur. Not only has he been in leadership roles across the channel including stints at vendors, resellers and distributors, but he also invests in start-ups and helps fuel innovation in the ICT industry.

What are some of your major achievements and milestones?

MB: I was part of the AMS team that grew significantly from a very small base out of Queensland to become a $500 million player within 10 years across the SI business, across the distribution business. I was one of the execs on that team. Growing the Prion business from zero to $250 million, being profitable all year long, was quite strong. We never had debt or equity or loans, it was all funded out of our own business. We funded our growth out of our own business, which is something pretty rare nowadays. Another milestone was starting Exeed. Even though we had the mishit here in Australia, Exeed in New Zealand has just turned over $200 million and it is the second biggest distributor in NZ. So that was quite exciting.

How would you describe yourself?

MB: An entrepreneur in a word. I know that gets used a lot, but that excites me. To be able to build something and grow it, which is why I'm excited about AppSense. I'm excited that I'm pretty much left to my own devices here, effectively running our own business. I've grown it 300 per cent over the last three years. It was only a small business when I took over the helm. Appsense was a mature start-up when we took over; but now, not only have we grown it, but we have some of the top customers in this region. We deal with large banks, large government bodies - our biggest customer is defence.

What was your goal when you came into run AppSense?

MB: The first thing I noticed about the company was we were a point solution - people just saw it as a line item in a proposal. So the focus was around building the value around our product, and part of that it was a solution sell and that all things go with it.

We had a very disjointed channel. Any channel partner who stocked AppSense was given a contract and agreement. And to them they couldn't see the value. So we changed that and started a model that is more focused.

Now we're working very closely with large SIs, HP and Fujitsu and Accenture. Those three are onboard with our technology and what we're doing. We've been able to build that channel as well. We have a very strong professional services division, which we didn't have before. Professional services is generating a significant amount of revenue and deliverables for our customers, so having that structure around the business.

Last year we grew 30 per cent; this year it will be over 50 per cent.


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