The Calibre One Story, Present and Future

Carley Sawford
The Calibre One Story, Present and Future

Over the past few months we have shared the pre-merger stories of both the Original Calibre One and Nexus Tel. This now brings us to where we formed the new Calibre One as a single entity and the company we all know and love today.

Here is the third chapter in our ongoing story.

 

Continuing where we left off

The merger of Nexus Tel and Calibre One took effect on 1st July 2016 and brought together two unique companies, one sales focused and one service focused. Both shared a common passion and drive to help their customers’ businesses thrive through technology.

The common goals and similar company cultures certainly helped the merger process, but like anyone who has done a merger can testify, it’s impossible to have a merger without at least a few challenges.

 

The Challenges We Faced When Merging

Our first challenge was our business systems. We shared no common systems and it didn’t seem any of them would serve the purposes of a combined organisation. The core of any service organisation is it’s ticketing system – a good ticketing system helps track the hundreds of tickets that come in weekly and provides a way of prioritising tasks.  

So we went back to scratch and reviewed all of the available options; investigating which ones would scale and which ones offered the best future integration. We also wanted a cloud-based option that would be simple to use from our various offices around Australia. Finally, it needed to integrate to a suitable finance package. We finally chose a Cloud-based version of ConnectWise for ticketing and accounting package Xero with an Australian developed integration between the two called Wise-Sync.

These core systems, Ticketing and Finance, needed to be functional by 1st July so we started implementation on the service side of the organisation within Calibre One a few months before in order to meet the deadline. Some pretty intense times were had as we migrated over 4,000 customer records and live accounts to the new system. By the time June came around, the technical, ordering and finance aspects were pretty sorted and we then set about implementing the systems for the sales and support elements of the organisation. Training can only prepare so much and in the end, it’s only when you have to use it under pressure do you truly learn how much you’ve taken in!

The next challenges were around culture and change management.

“Change management is important, you can never communicate with your staff enough during a transition like this, you need to reassure them and bring them on the journey with you.” – Carley Sawford

Mergers and acquisitions can be a very unsettling time for staff, some people love change but most feel  insecure about their future or the future of the company as a whole. We wanted our people to come with us and to see the vision and challenges we saw, so we did our best to communicate our plans at every step along the way. We wanted our staff to voice their opinions and have a say in the future of the company. For most, understanding why we thought the merger was a good idea helped reassure them in the direction and ultimate longevity of the Company. This common vision in the lead up to the merger then helped to ensure more harmony down the road.

 

Using employee retention as a success metric

We were very lucky to retain the majority of all original Calibre One and Nexus Tel staff, only losing a few along the way. We feel very fortunate to have a number of people that have been with us from the very beginning, including the founding members of both original companies from before the merger.  Changes to job roles, positions and locations can be confronting for some, but for those that embrace it, change can also be quite invigorating.

Wendy's 10 Year Certificate
Wendy receives her 10 Year certificate and bonus!

 

Since the merger, we have continued to grow and now have 43 staff with more planned before the end of financial year.

 

Celebrating staff achievements with annual awards

We have aimed to build a people-centric culture where we look after our people and they, in turn, look after our customers. One of my favorite quotes is from Richard Branson who said;

We’ve spent a lot of time in the last year devising ways to recognize good performance. Some are incentive based, and reward good behavior and practices. Others provide recognition by peers. To this end, we’ve established a set of Calibre One staff awards and in July 2017 on the anniversary of our first year, we had our first Annual Staff Awards.

Our staff awards seek to recognise those staff members who best reflect the attributes championed in our company values statement. These values and associated awards are Empathy, Communication, Accuracy, Efficiency, Attitude, and Respect.

In addition to these we also have the Outstanding Performance Award for the person who best embodies all these attributes.  This is the premier award – the Golden Oscar as it were!

Danielle Hand – Winner 2017 Outstanding Performance award

 

This public form of recognition is important to us and our staff. They receive a plaque to display proudly on their desk and a gift voucher.  We hope to develop these and increase the magnitude of these rewards in the future.

 

Awards and Nominations Calibre One has received

In addition to our internal awards, we have also received recognition outside our organisation in the wider Australian Technology community. Some of the milestones include:

  • Just a few days ago, in November 2017, we came 7th in the top 50 fastest growing IT companies in Australia at the CRN fast 50 event held in Sydney. This has jumped up 40 places, as we came in 47th in 2016, which shows how positive this merger has been!
  • We were also nominated in two categories at the CRN Project Impact Awards in Sydney last year for Workforce Empowerment and Working Together.
    • The nomination for the Workforce Empowerment award was for our work with our customer Halkitis. We delivered reliable connectivity across the Northern Territory by deploying a fibre MPLS Telstra network, Cisco firewall and SIP replacement of PSTN.
      “Being able to trust a partner like Calibre One, not just for design but for delivery as well, is very reassuring.” – Michael Robotha, Cisco
    • The nomination for Working Together was for our work with NT PHN. Here, we transitioned the client from legacy cloud to Telstra CSX Gen-2 infrastructure-as-a-service and took on full support responsibilities.
      “We look forward to continuing to work with the Calibre One team as we navigate the challenges of technological change and continue to reshape the future for our organisation.” – Shari Tanzer, Executive Manager, Operations, NT PHN.

We believe our existing customers have benefited from the merger and are now enjoying having one point of contact, and often one bill, for all their IT and Telecommunications needs.

 

Calibre One, Telstra and Microsoft Event

In addition to awards, we have also been invited to host events. Most recently, Calibre One was chosen by Telstra and Microsoft to host an event at Adelaide Oval for 60 customers. The topic for discussion was Digital Transformation. 

One of the exciting developments to come from this event was that it prompted us to make our first Calibre One promotional video. Two of our customers, Maritime Constructions and Assured Home Loans were both kind enough to offer their time in helping us make the video. A lot of fun was had with the guys from DayLightBreaks making this, our first promo, which we feel turned out pretty well!

Stay tuned for future blog post which will highlight this event!

 

Looking towards the future: Our New Vision

Late last year, the Management Shareholder Group came together for a day to review and update our Mission, Vision and Core Values and formulate our business plan for the next three years.

A Mission, Vision and Core Values is something we feel is important to share with our staff and customers as we place a lot of importance on transparency and care of those as we continue along on our journey.

Our Mission (Why we exist)

​​​Enhancing business through technology via a process of consulting with customers, delivering a solution and providing support.

Our Vision  (What we want to be)​

To create a national company of value and substance by the application of a customer centric approach. We will achieve this by providing a fair and equal workplace and the delivery of innovative and creative solutions. We will accomplish this by attracting talented, creative and empathetic individuals thereby becoming the employer of choice.

​Our Core Values

  • Have empathy with the customer and their needs. 
  • Communicate with customers in a clear and simple manner. 
  • Nurture relationships with Suppliers / Partners. 
  • Be accurate and thorough in what we do. 
  • Work to standardised company practices. 
  • Be accountable for our actions. 
  • Constantly seek to minimise waste and maximise output and thus add value to Customer and Calibre One. 
  • Develop and train our staff. 
  • Build a positive team and family spirit. 
  • Keep our promises. 
  • Conduct ourselves in an honest and open manner. 
  • Respect others. 
  • Engage with the local community in a socially responsive manner. ​ 

What’s next?

In January, we will open our new office in Cairns. We’re extremely excited by the opportunity in this region and we’ll be using this as a stepping stone to further develop our footprint through QLD.   

We have also recently acquired shares in AirBridge Networks, (check out our blog post to learn more!).  We believe the capability of AirBridge Networks supplements our regional offerings and will assist our clients in hard to reach areas by offering advanced communications and data options.

CRN has also recently taken note of our quick growth, and in addition to naming us the 7th fastest growing IT company in the country, they also recently wrote an article about our projected growth into Queensland, primarily in Cairns and Townsville.

From our CEO

Calibre One is a new generation technology company committed to enhancing business through technology.  In the words of our CEO;

“Calibre One are modern day Linguists – we provide a translation service between our clients and advanced technology. By translating the language of our customers to the language of our suppliers we are able to help them find the correct solution to assist  them in their business”

“Looking to the Future, Calibre One is now well positioned to bring even greater value to our customers. We’ve assembled a great team of people with common goals, wide skill set and with the drive and ambition to achieve them.  I believe the future is bright for Calibre One”.

Steve Wemyss – CEO, Calibre One