Peter Moriarty was just 15 years old when he started what is now known as IT Genius Australia. He loved computers and would occasionally skip school to assist his ‘customers’ with their PC issues – back then, a cloud was a white fluffy thing in the sky and not even Moriarty quite grasped where this IT gig he performed for pocket money would eventually lead to just over a decade later.
The business is a consultancy that specialises in helping small businesses with cloud technology. Specifically, it is a Google Apps for Work partner, which means that it helps businesses get set up on Google’s ecosystem of tools – Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive etc.
“It means that small businesses can get their work done from any location on any device without having to pay for expensive servers,VPNs, and remote desktop services; all the traditional IT [stuff],” says Moriarty.
Prior to implementing the current business model, IT Genius was a more traditional IT consultancy that was selling servers, setting up networks for people, and providing customers with more traditional IT support. What Moriarty observed though was that the market was beginning to shift towards cloud services and that most IT consultants wanted to continue to sell Microsoft solutions and software because it kept them in a job.
“With traditional IT solutions you still need a person to run it, whereas Google’s technology was very much self serve, so we were able to better serve our customers by giving them self serving technology. Initially it meant less profit for us which was really interesting; we actually cannibalised our own business model by selling a solution that didn’t require an IT person to run it. But it was a long term bet, a long term play, because over time we’ve now become one of the top Google partners in Asia Pacific,” he says.
“Now it’s extremely profitable for us because we’ve been able to reach a point where we’re specialists in our area, we had a dip in profit and we had a couple of really challenging years, but we emerged as a market leader in our field.”
Moriarty says that the transition has been fantastic, and he likes the fact that he is saving his customers a lot of money, providing them with heaps of value.
IT Genius began its pivot to its current business model around four years ago, completing the final stages last year.
“We’ve had one year as a pure play cloud and specifically Google Apps consultancy. It’s all going extremely well, and we’re making much more profit than we did with the old business model,” Moriarty explains.
Moriarty says undergoing the pivot was like building a new startup within his existing business. There was not a lot of trouble attracting clients per se, it was more that the deal value dropped dramatically at first – for example a new client under the new strategy may produce a deal size of $5,000 in comparison to the old business model which would bring in deal sizes worth about $30,000 per annum for the company.
IT Genius has some very big goals for 2016. Moriarty says, “Last year we helped to put over one hundred and thirty business onto Google Apps, and that’s pretty awesome because we’ve now put over three hundred businesses onto the Google Apps platform. Our goal this year is to obviously increase those numbers and to continue our pursuit in the top spot for servicing Google Apps for small businesses across Australia and beyond.”
Featured Image: Peter Moriarty, founder IT Genius | Source: Supplied
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