Melbourne's Olikka inks new deals with local heavyweights

Melbourne's Olikka inks new deals with local heavyweights

Strikes customer deals with businesses including one of Australia’s biggest supermarket chains

Michael Pascoe - Managing Director, Olikka

Michael Pascoe - Managing Director, Olikka

Melbourne-based systems integrator, Olikka, has added some of Australia's largest companies to its customer base.

The six-and-a-half-year old business recently inked one of Australia’s biggest supermarket chains, a large property and infrastructure company, a large rail company in Queensland, a major Aussie retail chain, and a property and a number of local councils to its customer portfolio.

Olikka managing director, Michael Pascoe, told ARN that the work for the large supermarket chain involves a Microsoft deployment consisting of a security-centric, modern Windows 10 design and build.

The contract for the large property and infrastructure company will see Olikka enable BYOD for the customer since it recently moved to a new premises and wanted to access key applications and facilities wirelessly, amongst the other benefits of mobility.

As for the deal with the Aussie retail chain, he said that one of its subsidiaries required a modern work space as a result of it moving offices.

“So what we’ve done is deploy Microsoft technology, using solutions like Windows 10. This end user is a lot more mobile focused and our next step with it is to look at real tangible collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams,” Pascoe said.

Pascoe also went in detail about the recent partnership with the Queensland rail company, saying that Olikka is providing it with a complete public cloud design for Microsoft Azure.

“We’re currently doing the first stage of it; Azure will act as a third data centre for the company. We’ve developed a process and application assessment matrix for it to run all of its enterprise apps through to determine the best place and right time to move their workloads to the cloud,” he said.

“In parallel to that, we’re also doing a pilot deployment to Azure for a side-by-side environment for it to use,” he added.

Olikka has also recently signed contracts for a Microsoft deployment for a country government office in Victoria, a Lotus Notes to Microsoft Outlook transition for an automotive aftermarket parts company, and does ongoing work with a local government council in Victoria to move its workloads to the cloud.

According to Pascoe, 18 per cent of the company’s revenue is a result of its ongoing work.

“We are heavily Microsoft-focused, but not to the exclusion of some of the competitive vendors where it makes sense to our customers. If it makes sense for the customer in terms of technology, costs, their relationship with the vendors, and what they want to achieve, that’s what we want to be doing,” Pascoe said.

In addition to Microsoft and AWS, Olikka also has Citrix, Veeam, VMware, and a few other smaller businesses as vendor partners.

On-boarding a new vendor

In building on its value-add for Microsoft solutions, especially around Office 365, Olikka has signed on Mimecast as a vendor partner.

“We’re a value layer between these billion dollar companies and our customers. That’s how we see ourselves in the supply chain," he said. "We care about the specifics requested by end customers and are able to translate upcoming features and functions and advise them on which works best for them.

“Our interest in Mimecast is that it forms part of our idea of “Office 365-as-a-service” because it adds features and functions capability to Office 365 out of the box,” he said.

Pascoe also mentioned that the new vendor partnership blends well into its Olikka-as-a-service managed services offering, which he said is a huge part of the business.

“We try to differentiate ourselves from most of the managed services offerings and we focus on proactive upgrades. Customers have a need that Office 365 by itself isn’t fulfilling and Mimecast fills those gaps well. But we’re still in the early days of this relationship,” he said.

Growing from a start-up

Pascoe told ARN that the company’s transition from a start-up to an SMB has fuelled its recent wins and enables it to keep concentrating on acquiring larger customers that are of a 1,000 to 10,000 business size.

“We’ve now stabilised ourselves in the market and in our processes," he said. "We’ve come from a traditionally systems management end user computing focus and that is still at the core but we’re now applying it to help IT meet user expectations with extensions or integrations.

“As we’ve grown and matured, we’ve extended into areas like identity management, and cloud work around end user computing. We’ve also recently started application integration which means it’s not totally reliant on what vendors provide,” he said.

“We’ve also put on more of a user lens on our IT work to offer solutions that are intuitive and make the user productive.”

In addition, Pascoe said changing market conditions and new customer purchasing trends has also enabled it to expand into other areas.

“Cloud has influenced the way people buy, even if they’re not buying cloud things. The benefits of cloud, around agility and demand based resourcing, is branching out to other work, so customers are demanding this," Pascoe said.

“It changes the dynamic of our business and thankfully our size has allowed us to adapt quickly to changing buyer patterns and being flexible in our delivery,” he added.

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