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Digital transformation drives national growth for Adelaide IT firm

Business

South Australian IT company Solutions + will open a Brisbane office this year after expanding to Perth and doubling its Adelaide workforce to 30 in 2021.

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The company, which sells, implements and supports the rollout of SAP and Microsoft software for small to medium-sized businesses, says its expansion has been fast-tracked by the surge in digital transformation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Founded by former Codan executive Allan Morichaud in 2014, Solutions + has doubled in size in terms of revenue and staff numbers each of the past four years.

“Digital transformation has taken years in the past but now it takes months because companies realise that it’s not if and when but it’s how to make it happen,” Morichaud said.

“There’s no sign of any slow down at all, we just keep winning business and we even see with existing clients they are saying ‘how can we do things better, how I can grow’ and that’s through the continuing evolution of the digital transformation.”

The wine industry is a prime example of a sector needing to adjust its business practices quickly following the pandemic and Chinese tariffs that effectively shut down Australia’s largest wine export market overnight.

Morichaud said Solutions + had been working with numerous small to medium wineries in South Australia, Western Australia and in the NSW region of Hunter Valley as they quickly adjusted their business models from large scale distribution and export to direct-to-consumer sales online.

“They needed to move more into the direct-to-consumer market, which is online and through wine clubs that provide recurring revenue and the winery is guaranteed a high margin compared to a wholesaler,” he said.

“But what that does is it puts pressure on the winery because instead of selling pallets of wine to a distributor or for export, it’s cases so the transaction volume just goes through the roof.

“In order to manage that they need proper processing systems that are fully integrated so that when you go online to order wine it automatically feeds into the delivery system, inventory system and accounting system.”

Morichaud moved to Adelaide from Denmark in 2005 and started the business in 2014 after six years working for SA-based Codan.

His business partner Jay Cheah, an IT specialist and former COHDA Wireless engineer, joined the business a year later.

Solutions + opened its Perth office in November and has three staff there. It is currently recruiting for staff in Queensland with the aim of opening its Brisbane office later this year.

It has also recently moved into a significantly larger Adelaide office on King William St.

Morichaud said his growth goal was to reach 100 staff within five years – 60 in Adelaide, 20 in Perth and 20 in Brisbane.

He said doing business in Brisbane, like Adelaide and Perth was about building strong relationships, unlike Melbourne and Sydney, where business deals were more transactional.

“Customers value face to face and when business owners put their money and trust into our business and shake hands then that is a commitment and that’s what I enjoy,” Morichaud said.

Solutions + was last year ranked ninth in the CRN fast 50, which ranks the fastest growing IT companies in Australia. It was the highest-ranked SA company on the list.

It has also entered a partnership with Vis-Grow Internships, which has led to the employment of six staff through Vis-Grow’s Graduate Development Program.

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