It all started in a lounge room. Well, two lounge rooms to be precise.
Twenty-one years ago, Wayne Small was sitting in his lounge room when he came up with an idea for an IT business. An idea about providing smart technology solutions to small and medium businesses. There were so many solutions out there, it was hard for businesses to know which to choose. Wayne planned a business where he would be a trusted advisor, helping customers to make sense of all that was on offer – and Correct Solutions was born.
In another lounge room at roughly the same time, Ryan Spillane had the same vision and set up RAS World. Both men started running businesses from their lounge rooms before moving into offices. In 2005 the businesses came together and Correct Solutions has gone from strength to strength. We now have a large group of customers and two offices in Sydney.
As we celebrate our 21st birthday, Correct Solutions takes a look back at our achievements over the past couple of decades. And we also share what we’re excited about when we plan for the future!
How we got here: a focus on business outcomes, the technology just a toolset
The first great leap forward for Correct Solutions came in 2005 when it merged with RAS World. Wayne and Ryan put together an organisational chart of 25 staff (at the time they had just 12). A few years later, they built another organisational chart for more than 50 staff – and the team is getting closer to that number.
Ryan Spillane is now MD, and Wayne remains involved with Correct Solutions. At least three other staff members have been with us for 17 years, and around ten have been there for a decade. So, while the business has grown, a lot of the original people are still here.
“Some of our biggest growth – 40% of it – was through the GFC,” recalls Ryan. “We introduced fixed price IT, ultimately what we now call managed services, so trying to deliver a set outcome for a client at a predictable cost isn’t new to us.”
Ryan believes focus on the customer is what has made Correct Solutions so successful over the past 21 years.
“Revenue has never been our main focus,” he says. “It’s all about delivering customer outcomes. Where we do our best work is where we have an opportunity to really understand the business. We look at their plan and where they want to take the business, and then we make sure the technology is in the right place to enable these things to happen.”
The ‘trusted advisor’ role that both men envisaged in their lounge rooms remains central to Correct Solutions’ business philosophy.
“We’re business owners and builders in our own right, and technology is our toolset,” he says. “So we talk about business plans and link everything together. When we focus on people and business outcomes, that’s where the magic happens.”
Right now, says Ryan, Correct Solutions as a company is increasingly about supporting the user to do their job well, and enabling organisations to make the most of the competitive landscape.
Where to from here: education, customer relationships and supporting great people
While we’ve enjoyed looking back over the achievements and lessons of the past 21 years, our real focus is on the next 5. The landscape is a fast changing one, but we have identified some core priorities for our business.
- Education that further drives technology adoption. Having the right technology doesn’t automatically mean companies get the business change they’re searching for. Technology solutions need to be used and embraced and we’re looking to launch an education program that helps our customers get the most out of their Microsoft products. “This will not only help our customers to achieve the productivity gains they are looking but also help them invest in and retain their staff,” says Ryan.
- Closer customer relationships. “We do some of our best work with customers who see us a business advisor, and not just a technology partner, and we’d like to formalise this program”, says Ryan. Currently in development is a Correct Solutions customer program that leverages from the work that we are already doing with many business owners.
- Giving our team the room to grow. Our success over the last 21 years has been due to the great team Correct Solutions has been able to attract and retain. And the focus remains on people. “We have good people at Correct Solutions, and we want to give them the room to advance their careers. This is a big factor for us when evolving the business and planning for growth,” says Ryan.
Meanwhile the technology is evolving faster than ever!
Over 21 years, the Correct Solutions team has seen some massive changes in technology. Among the things we’re excited about now and for the future is Microsoft’s continued development of the Office 365 platform.
“It’s developing at a rate that’s difficult for us to keep up with, let alone our customers,” says Ryan. “But what it is capable of is incredible.”
Another game-changer has been the cloud. “It’s not a matter of IF, it’s WHICH systems we will move to the cloud first,” says Ryan. “Disruption is the new normal – our job is to keep our eyes and ears open for what’s new.”
So how does Correct Solutions compare to Ryan and Wayne’s original vision? “It’s bigger than we ever thought it could be,” says Ryan. “Technology has changed so much, and we could never have dreamed up what it’s capable of. But it’s a great thing and we love it.”