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December 23, 2010

Itomic 2010 Year in Review

By Ross Gerring

Our most exciting year ever?!

One of the dominant themes was GIRLS! Itomic Director Ben Townsend and his wife Cheri welcomed the (almost) always smiling Sunny into the world in January. Former Sales Manager Mick Edwards and wife Serena gave birth to gorgeous Grace in May. New recruit Adam and wife Sarah said “hi” to little Isla in August. But we weren’t finished! Account Manager Annie Stanley and partner Nathan announced that they’re expecting a little girl in Jan 2011 (getting close now!), and Sales & Marketing Manager Simon Tysoe and his wife Beth learnt recently that their little angel is due in May 2011. Phew! A post-GFC baby-boom perhaps?!

On the recruitment front, we had one of our busiest years ever, with fabulous new staff coming on board in both the Perth and Melbourne offices. In approximate chronological order, another huge warm welcome to Simon Tysoe (Sales & Marketing Manager, Perth), Kara (Office Co-ordinator, Perth), Nigel Heap (Web Developer, Melbourne), Adam Butterworth (Web Developer, Perth), Nick Santamaria (Web Developer and Drupal specialist, Melbourne), Belinda Dealy (Project Manager, Melbourne), Ben Derham (Client Support, Perth), and Dan Lennox (part-time Drupal specialist, Melbourne). All these great people have ‘hit the ground running’ in their respective roles, and it’s an absolute pleasure to have them on the team.

The Big Birthday Bash of the year was Itomic’s 10th. Watch out – we’re nearly into our teens! We understand that less than 30% of startups are around 10 years later, so we feel comfortable giving ourselves a modest pat on the back for that. But without our valued and growing client base there is no Itomic, so thanks so much to all our clients – old, new, and future – for your continued confidence in and patronage of Itomic. Our commitment to you: we’ll continue to work hard to improve our services across the board. Excellence, after all, is a journey more than it is a destination, especially in this crazy, fast-paced and highly competitive world we all live in. But back to the party! Our Melbourne team joined our Perth team in November for a river cruise on the mighty Swan thanks to Heron Charters, topped off by a long lunch at JoJo’s Café. The weather was perfect, Ross’ “speech” on the jetty less so, but he’s (still) hoping that a mixture of the blustery wind conditions plus alcohol meant that no-one really heard him anyway. Oh, and who could forget the magician mingling in our midst?!

Awards? We won a few, both at state and national levels. The pinnacle of recognition was a double win at the Australian Web Awards 2010 for our site in the categories of ‘Virtual Business’ and ‘Innovation’. The judging panel was more prestigious than ever, so it’s very humbling to be recognised in this way. Although all our sites are ultimately a team effort, special congrats are due to the primary expert Itomic developer on this project Jude Aakjaer, and senior designer Andrew Blunsum. A great example of a winning collaboration between our Melbourne and Perth offices. And of course not forgetting ‘dream client’ Kim Robertson who put all her confidence in Itomic to turn her vision into reality. Thanks Kim! I wonder how we’ll go at the (International) Webby Awards in 2011 with this site…

Here at Itomic we’re a big supporter of constant learning. If you think you know it all, that’s the surest sign that you don’t! For the technical and design guys a lot of this happens on the job given all the online learning resources at their disposal. Special mentions go to Liam Hargreaves (Production Manager, Perth) on becoming Prince2 and ITIL certified, to Simon Tysoe for his progression towards an MBA (how much will becoming a father slow you down, Simon?!), and to Terry Mahoney (Project Manager, Perth) on his progression also towards becoming Prince2 certified. Many courses and seminars were also attended throughout the year, lots of them thanks to the Small Business Centre Stirling. Ross Gerring (Managing Director) was the presenter of one the SBC seminars on the subject of “Choosing the Right Website Designer”.

The big trip of the year was when Terry, Alex and Ross had the privilege of visiting Uluru and Alice Springs in support of a new project collaboration with Ninti One. The Rock was every bit as majestic, if not more so, than expected. What a special place.

A now a quick peek into 2011…

  • Itomic are Gold Sponsors of the most significant Drupal conference to be held in Australia yet, DrupalDownUnder. Flying the flag for will be Alex, Jude and Liam at this January 2011 event. In case you didn’t know yet, Drupal is one of the leading open source Content Management Systems (CMS) that Itomic specialise in, alongside our home-grown Nucleus CMS. Take a look at
  • Our current Melbourne office can’t contain our growth much longer, so we’re on the lookout for new premises with expansion potential, preferably near to lots of coffee shops.
  • Yes, the rumours are true. We have every expectation of opening Itomic UK in 2011 (assuming of course they’ve cleared all the snow off the runways). Planning is at an advanced stage. This will strengthen and deepen our capacity and our service offering to all clients. More news on this as things firm up.
  • Having successfully completed an Enterprise Connect review in 2010 (thank you Australian Government!), we look forward to using grant money made available to us to improve our marketing and business systems and processes in 2011. We’ve also got our eye on ISO 9001 ‘Quality Endorsed Company’ accreditation.

We’ll leave you with one of our mantra’s for the year: never, ever take success for granted. Yes, we survived the GFC relatively unscathed, but taking our eye off the ball is not an option. We’ve got a very long term commitment to this industry, and our focus and decision making going forward will reflect this. At the end of the day, our fundamental understanding of, and belief in, our industry is this: there is technology and there are people, and the two need (better) ways to interact. That’s us in the middle.