Three years ago on February 24th 2010 I went into business with the prime objective of having a “lifestyle company” – essentially creating a flow of work that paid my previous salary but allowed me to work only 3-4 days per week. Within a few short months the cloud bug hit me and I was obsessed with Microsoft’s Software as a Service (SaaS) offering – BPOS (the predecessor to Office 365). In fact one of the main reasons I left my previous role was the fact that the company wanted to only sell their high end IT solutions and was completely closed to the concept of commodity offerings run by vendors.
In a short period of time Paradyne was starting to deliver a steady stream of BPOS implementations for SMBs and we were earning a good reputation in the industry. We were really starting to take a lead in the pack when I introduced something generally frowned upon in the IT industry – fixed price services. This really helped drive the business further as it allowed others to sell on our behalf and for customers to know what they were getting and more importantly – how much it cost.
By forming strong relationships with Microsoft and Telstra, Paradyne become a leading name in the Office 365 marketplace. My regular blogging and forum postings also helped me become well known as a person who had a passion for the product, solutions, capabilities, opportunities, and community. It was not long after Paradyne turned 1 that I was awarded the title of Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP). This emboldened me to go further and to drive Paradyne to not just be one of the top Office 365 partners in Australia – but to be THE top partner.
It is said that most businesses close up in their first year, but Paradyne is now about to embark on its fourth – something I am very proud of. The past three years have seen quite a change in the IT industry and specifically in cloud. It is no longer a case of cloud being something new and unknown with businesses asking “why” – cloud is now something everyone needes to be doing if they don’t want to be left behind with the conversation becoming about “when”.
As a business person I’ve made several mistakes over the past three years that have cost us time and money, however I have learnt a great deal from these which when put in context have been more value than the dollars spent. In the past few months Paradyne has secured investment and several new (experienced) business partners who aim to drive both it and its sister company Xstran to heights I had previously not considered possible with just myself at the helm.
I am truly excited for the world we live in, the opportunities I’ve been presented with, and the future that lies ahead of us. We find ourselves in an exciting time and place, and I look forward to seeing what happens over the next three years of Paradyne!