Wild Geese: Plugging into a future of opportunity in Australia
Carlow native cited as one of the most noteworthy people in business in Perth
Dermot Ryan: "Because Australians work extremely hard, you need to work hard to get ahead, but if you are willing to do that you can be very successful."
Being named as one of the Top 40 under 40 business leaders in Western Australia serves to highlight the career progress of Carlow native Dermot Ryan, who has been making his mark on his adoptive home of Perth since moving there 10 years ago.
Ryan was cited as one of the most noteworthy people in business in Perth in the Top 40 under 40 last year. Having helped take start-up company L7 Solutions to acquisition stage, he now works as group executive of cloud and managed services for Amcom, an Australian IT & Telecommunications Company.
Amcom employs 360 people; it is a national company with offices across Australia. The company product set includes a national data network delivering business- grade data and internet services, business class unified communications and IP voice, cloud solutions and managed services, all supported by an extensive fibre-optic network and data centres.
When Amcom acquired L7 Solutions in November 2011, Ryan went from his role as chief operations officer of the start-up to his current role as Amcom sought to acquire a group of people with the ability to accelerate its cloud strategy.
Having joined L7 in its infancy, Ryan quickly took command of all service operations. Alongside L7 managing director Matt Sullivan, Ryan took L7 to its pre-buyout position as a company with 130 highly- skilled employees and a turnover of AU$40 million. The two men continue to work together at Amcom.
L7, an information technology company, specialised in the provision of IT integration solutions, managed services, advisory and related services. Working closely with leading IT providers such as Cisco, EMC, Microsoft and VMware, L7 established a strong reputation for excellence, acquiring about 200 clients across the Perth enterprise and government sectors.
Ryan says that, with a growing demand for consumption-based cloud services, the fundamentals of IT have not changed, with customers continuing to seek high-quality outcomes for their business.
Whether in the cloud, on premise or in a hybrid capacity, it requires the same fundamental principle – ensuring total customer satisfaction.
His key measure for every individual engagement in L7 and now in Amcom is “client satisfaction”.
“If you have the right culture in your business and are constantly focused on your clients’ needs, you will be successful,” he says.
Prior to emigrating, Ryan worked as a programme manager in Microsoft’s Windows division in Sandyford, Dublin.
He says that since becoming father to two sons, Tully (3) and Oisin (2), work has taken on a deeper resonance. His focus is on “ensuring that [he] is investing all [his] energy for the benefit of [his] family”.
Ryan met his partner Kellie in Ireland and they moved to Perth where he worked on various contracts before joining L7.
Because of Perth’s isolation, Ryan says it has a unique atmosphere and, despite having a population of about two million, it retains a small city vibe with a relaxed pace of life.
“Although we all work hard, the pace of life is different to other cities. The climate is Mediterranean, the city is well engineered for children. It’s small enough to get around easily and the beaches are world renowned.”
He says he doesn’t deliberately seek out Irish people but socialises with some, along with a broad network of international friends. He believes Australia to be a place of great opportunity for those willing to work for it.
The Western Australian market is heavily driven by the resources in the region, which account for 50 per cent of the country’s total resources, with products such as iron ore, oil and gas important to the region.
“It’s more of an open market here and I believe that this brings lots of opportunity. Because Australians work extremely hard, you need to work hard to get ahead, but if you are willing to do that you can be very successful.”