Booms, busts and pandemics: How 20 years of disruption has shaped Nexon


When Nexon Asia Pacific’s (Nexon) Chief Executive Officer, Barry Assaf cofounded the company as a telecommunications provider more than 20 years ago it was in the immediate aftermath of the dot com crash of 2000.

As a certified engineer with a background in telecommunications sales and marketing, Barry could see the opportunities for growth at a time when others were running for the exits.

Fast forward to 2021 and Nexon had successfully navigated another global crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic, to finish the 2020 financial year with 13 percent growth in revenue, thousands of services under management and more than 200 employees across Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne.

During 2020 Nexon acquired GCOMM, Reimagine, XCentral and the security and tech services division of Kiandra IT to support the company’s strategic goals and complement its client solutions offering.

It also saw success on the client growth and retention front, with standout deals including a multimillion-dollar agreement with Ord Minnett, a $3.5 million digital infrastructure contract with leading pest control company Flick Anticimex, keeping Flick at the industry forefront as they continue to innovate and digitalise pest control, and a significant contract extension with the ASX Top 200 financial services company, IOOF, to its unified communications and contact centre partnership.

Nexon CEO Barry Assaf said the key to Nexon’s success was in anticipating change and disruption and aligning the business to these emerging trends.

“The need to work and interact with customers remotely has accelerated business investment in data security and migration to the public cloud. This has touched every solution and business line that we offer. Cybersecurity has been hugely disruptive. Customers are more aware now of their vulnerabilities and they’re looking to protect themselves. So, we’ve been extremely proactive with our investment in solutions and resources to meet the market demands. The adoption of public cloud services has increased demand for greater IT speed, agility and security. Collaboration and secure access to data and platforms by remote workers has shifted the market.”

Mr Assaf said adoption of public cloud and SaaS applications was very much about companies moving to these new digitised environments.

“Digital transformation is only going to gather pace as companies identify the range of benefits, from augmenting and automating client services and running their operations more efficiently to standardising collaboration tools to allow staff to work more productively while remote.

“When businesses nationwide were forced into lockdown, that whole process was accelerated, particularly with the need to seamlessly shift employees to work from home without any disruption to customers or employees”.

“We leveraged our voice and modern workplace expertise with Microsoft Cloud based solutions, which was timely for us because we’ve been offering these types of solutions for the past five years.

“Nexon’s Business Solutions division also increased in staff by more than 300 percent since 2019 to assist clients to automate, streamline and improve processes to support new ways of working”.

“It put us in a really good position to help our customers’ transition to a work from home model.”

Mr Assaf said a focus on organic growth supported by strategic acquisitions would strengthen Nexon’s position, offerings and current capabilities in 2021.

“We’re looking for acquisitions that specifically give us skills or geographic coverage in our key growth areas of cybersecurity, the public cloud and business solutions.

“We’re seeking to increase our presence in Melbourne via acquisition as well as acquire talent to support our growth in specific product segments and industries.

“Our approach when we make an acquisition is to look at the talent and the skills within that business and leverage that talent into our organisational structure across the company.

“We’re scaling fast and have more than doubled the size of the business in the past 12 months, which has given us the opportunity to further invest in the management team as well as customer services and support.

“For the first time we have hired a General Manager of Strategy and Planning, invested in key people in the public cloud and cybersecurity spaces and appointed sales leaders to grow our presence in Victoria and across the Public Sector.”

Mr Assaf said Nexon was unique in its ability to provide all technology streams, proven expertise and skills required to digitally transform business.

“Our focus is to offer a complete end-to-end solution to provide better outcomes for our customers, and their customers, long-term, while scaling our financial position and market share.

“It’s all about continuing the partnerships with our customers, giving them peace of mind, that their trusting relationship with us allows them to focus on what they do best,” he said.

Booms, busts and pandemics: How 20 years of disruption has shaped Nexon
Booms, busts and pandemics: How 20 years of disruption has shaped Nexon

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