MSP 501 Profile: Rock IT Thrived Amid Australian Work-from-Home EraMSP 501 Profile: Rock IT Thrived Amid Australian Work-from-Home Era
Government policies made it easy for Australian businesses to invest in their IT during the pandemic.
December 30, 2021
Company Name: Rock IT
Managing Director: Nik Devidas
Headquartered: Collingwood, Victoria
Neither age barriers or a global pandemic could stop Australian MSP Rock IT from growing.
When Rock IT first launched in 2003, its founders weren’t far removed from college. Managing director Nik Devidas said he had to work hard to prove his value to prospective customers.
“It was difficult to walk into a boardroom and convince an organization to let a couple of kids to manage their multi-million dollar businesses,” Devidas told Channel Futures.
Devidas also shared how Rock IT successfully navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. Read his thoughts in the Q&A below.
CF: What is one thing you wish vendors would do that they don’t?
Nik Devidas: Vendors are successful because MSPs market and sell their wares for them. Some vendors (not all) don’t properly recognize the value MSPs bring to their business and it’s continually disappointing to hear vendors talk about marketing development funds, yet never release them.
Rock IT’s Nik Devidas
The best MSPs win clients, then roll out their entire technology and security stack to their clients. Vendors don’t play a role in the sales process, yet benefit wholly from it. When we approach vendors for [market development funds] we ask them to assist our client-attraction efforts because clients buy from MSPs — they don’t buy standalone technologies that fulfil a single need such as backup. Clients want trusted relationships which is a different proposition than selling kit.
Vendors need to open their eyes to this rather than giving us generic marketing material to share which adds no value to anyone. When MSPs gain clients they gain endpoints to manage which means sales to vendors. Vendors should do everything they can to assist their MSPs win as many new clients as possible.
CF: What was the single biggest technology or business decision that drove your company’s growth in 2020? And in the first half of 2021? How did it do so?
ND: Long-term lockdowns in Australia (170-plus days in 2020 for Melbourne alone) provided a short-term boost for project work. However, government stimulus packages enabled our clients to pay for this work easily. Their focus then shifted to cybersecurity as business owners and executives started to see firsthand the risks of running thousands of “offices” around the country instead of traditional corporate headquarters.
We increased the number of devices under our curated security stack and won new work off the back of our 2019 marketing efforts.
CF: Why are you a business owner instead of working for someone else? What is the allure of entrepreneurship to you?
ND: My business partner and I started Rock IT in 2003 when we were in our early 20s, which on reflection was both a blessing and curse! It’s a blessing now 18 years on with a proven track record. However, as we were really young — all of our peers were at the start of their careers. It was difficult to walk into a boardroom and convince an organization to let a couple of kids manage their multimillion-dollar businesses. I’ve seen many businesses started by people in their 40s who were “miraculously” able to sell their services to enterprises immediately. There’s always an existing relationship there that was the difference. In our 40’s now it’s a lot easier, with peers in decision-making positions, and we have a long track record of success.
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