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Behind Epicon's quest for product in a services world

Behind Epicon's quest for product in a services world

How one Aussie partner is making business transition look easy

Yair Tzur and Anthony Chia (Epicon)

Yair Tzur and Anthony Chia (Epicon)

Wrangling different IT systems or applications is a persistent problem for partners and end users alike, many vendors - and partners - promise a seamless experience to clients but when push comes to shove, few can deliver.

But now one Canberra-based partner claims to have solved the issue, and its efforts have yielded success with enterprise and government markets.

Epicon was formed in 2008, by CEO Yair Tzur. The core team at Epicon are ex-Mercury Interactive, who split from the company after it was acquired by Hewlett Packard (HP) in 2006 for approximately US$4.5 billion.

Now, the company is reportedly in the process of securing $20 million in a capital raising effort with the help of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), in a bid to take its business global.

The Canberra-headquartered IT shop started out providing enterprise IT management, implementation and professional services. It boasts a client base including many large Federal Government agencies and enterprise companies including some of the large banks and telcos.

Its vendor partners include AppDynamics, Atlassian, Elastic, ExtraHop, Flexera, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Jenkins, Red Hat, Sensu and ServiceNow.

“We started out implementing HP software back in the day, but very quickly we realised that professional services was not the way to go for us,” Tzur told ARN.

As a result, the company began to transition from a professional services practice to a developing a solution-based offering. In 2011, the company developed an enterprise IT management platform running on premises for government clients.

This product was called DCMA (or data centre management appliance), which Tzur said was successful in the government and enterprise markets.

“The core IP [intellectual property] in that solution was integration technology. Integrating technology systems is probably one of the biggest unsolved problem of IT, and we fairly early in the process knew how to do that," Tzur said.

“Even though the big vendors claim that all their systems are integrated, in reality that is not the case. They acquire a bunch of companies and each one has different technologies and the integration is always ad-hoc," he said.

Tzur claimed the company was always able to do this, which drove early success. In 2016, the company launched its integration technology IT management solution, which Tzur claimed can connect any vendor solution to any other.

Epicon, like many companies in the IT services space placed a bet on platform development. Another such company is AWS partner Versent, which released its own product called Stax.

The company told ARN that offering a product required a completely different approach.

“Product and software is more focused on the medium to long-term management of product vision and roadmaps. It’s also about how you resource a team adequately to make that work,” Stax general manager, Dave Slutzkin said.

For Tzur, this philosophy rings true. The company still runs a professional services arm, but is more focused on its platform due to growth potential.

“In our professional services practice, all our offerings have been a fixed price, outcomes based model. It is more aligned with a full managed service," Tzur said.

“Up until now we grew organically and we chose to do that, this is probably why nobody has heard of us but we are servicing most of the blue chip organisations in the country as their main enterprise IT management solution," he said.

While Epicon’s offerings seemingly pitch the company against the large systems integrators such as Datacom and Dimension Data, Tzur said that, in fact, the company does not compete with these players, and that its solution is complementary. He added that the company often works as a subcontractor for systems integrators including Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and others.

“[For each customer] we pick solutions from our best of breed vendors, but what our technology offers is the opportunity for the next big thing when it comes. If they want to adopt a new solution we integrate it seamlessly," Tzur said.

“Back in the day HPE was the next big thing in the monitoring space, now we have replaced it with AppDynamics, ExtraHop and ServiceNow. If the next big thing comes along next year, our integration architecture enables [customers] to seamlessly replace them," he said.

We are selling three main things: we are selling our product which is an integration BUS, this allows you to connect any enterprise application end to end

“That’s our main focus, we are trying to complete our transformation to a product company,” he said.

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Tags Red HatatlassianflexeraServiceNowAppDynamicsJenkinsExtraHopElasticYair TzurSensuHewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)epicon

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