A Midlands infrastructure VAR founded in 2012 is looking to hit £10m in revenue shortly after it celebrates its third birthday.
Lee Rogers, sales director and co-founder of Alcester-based Simplify IT, told ChannelWeb that the firm is on track to tip £7m by Christmas, and if it doesn't exceed a £10m take for its July 2014 to June 2015 year it will be "very disappointing".
"We did £1.5m in our first year, and £3.2m in 2013. Now we're in month five and already on about £5.5m," he said. "We're competing against some of the biggest resellers – we've just beaten BT on an account, and SCC, and Logicalis."
Rogers and co-founder Michael Brookes, who is now technical director at the fast-growing firm, left NetApp to found Simplify IT in 2012, partly as a result of dissatisfaction with resellers. Rogers and Brookes, with their decades of technical and sales experience in the industry, felt they could do a better job.
"The key thing is that we were actually seeing resellers going out to training courses for NetApp, VMware and Cisco, but when they did complex solution design they were still relying on the vendors to do the work for them," he said. "We said, 'we could do that'."
Beyond price support from the vendors, Simplify IT strives to offer that one throat to choke to the customer by having the required skills in-house. Nine out of 14 current employees have technical expertise and staff are cross-trained to fill in any gaps, so a customer rarely has to go far or wait long to find an answer to a question or a problem, Rogers confirmed.
"All the people working for us have over 10 years' experience," he said. "And we don't have pre-sales and post-sales; we have the team."
The reseller has also consolidated its support contracts, again offering one throat to choke and avoiding what Rogers said is a tendency for partners, vendors and other providers to blame each other when something goes wrong, passing the buck and frustrating customers further.
Customer demo facilities nearby have helped attract customers, too, who might otherwise have had to go to London to trial equipment. The key thing, however, is that consultative approach – ensuring that the aim is to serve customers and provide the best IT solution for them rather than pushing them towards the offering that will make Simplify IT the most margin, he said.
This has helped Simplify IT win custom from blue-chip corporates including Prudential, Travis Perkins, and Lloyds Insurance – customers you might expect to stick with the "major", larger players, Rogers said.
The reseller has also just been invested in by NatWest to the tune of five figures, which helped buy its new, larger 2,000-square-foot office in Alcester, having outgrown rented premises in Stratford-upon-Avon.
"Although we actually didn't really need the loan any more," noted Rogers, adding that the banks hadn't been interested in helping them at the start – especially during a recession – when they could have done with the money.
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