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Our team scoops up four out of four finalist nods


Entered four categories at the Reseller News Innovation Awards - finalists in all of them 

As with most Kiwis, the team at Parallo has been content to just get on with doing a good job for our clients – and talking ourselves up doesn’t come easily. But this year, we entered four categories at the Reseller News Innovation Awards and all four of those entries have been selected as finalists.

The Innovation Awards recognise the standout work of managed service providers (that’s us) along with system integrators and value-added resellers. It’s a big deal in our industry, and we’re especially pleased because the awards have recognised two team members in particular. We’re also pleased on behalf of our parent company, Rhipe, which is a finalist in four categories, too.

The awards night is planned for February 18, 2022 and our team is excited to cheer the winners on.


James Brookbanks: finalist in Personal Innovation - Technical Excellence 

While everything we do at Parallo is a team effort, it’s fair to say that our CTO, James, was the brain behind Run-Time Automation Library. His work directly benefited over 60 SaaS companies across Australasia.

A gadget man

This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows James. He’s all about the cloud and using modern architectures to deliver successful application transformations to customers. He understands how modern APIs integrate with applications and provide rich extensibility to core services. He’s tried coding video games but ultimately ends up playing instead. James spends his days optimising processes that reduce human error or inefficiencies and uses existing technology to build new solutions.

At home, he built a temperature-controlled chamber for fermenting homebrew, using Raspberry Pi and Arduino logic controllers. He’s a tinkerer, a gadget man – and our clients have benefited from that.

Vision and tenacity

He’s also the guy who spots new opportunities – and acts on them. When Azure Lighthouse came onto the scene in mid-2019, he jumped on it. This caught the attention of Microsoft, which now seeks our feedback on service improvements and new features. We were also featured in a presentation at Microsoft Inspire 2020 and in a marketing campaign showcasing Azure Lighthouse.

The most impressive part? In 2014, James made a difficult career transition from accomplished on-premise infrastructure architect to the cloud space. This was due to his tenacity and ability to see inevitable market shifts. Taking this cloud-native approach to technology was pivotal in creating Run-Time Automation Library and Parallo’s Cloud Platform Management service that now accelerates over 60 SaaS businesses in NZ, AU and Singapore.

His ultimate impact can be seen in the customers that have successfully exited in the last 24 months for a combined value of over $2B: Seequent, Cin7, Merlot Aero and Timely.


Nicole Schafer: finalist in Personal Innovation - Management Excellence 

One of Parallo’s founders, Nicole survived working in the 1980s computing industry, with roles in software and hardware support, back-office support and landing in virtualisation and cloud technologies.

About two years ago she got off the tools and assumed overall management of the Parallo operations teams. This has allowed her to continue telling people what to do, which is her happy place. She advocates employing people who are cleverer than her and basking in their shared success. Nicole likes a good list and is currently checking off her children moving out of home. That project has been fraught with delays and resistance.

Spearheading massive growth

As our GM Operations, Nicole is spearheading company growth and driving strategic change. A huge part of that work was to drive opportunities to productise the unique Parallo Cloud Platform Management service. This has been instrumental in growing over 60 SaaS companies, a number set to increase.

Under Nicole’s leadership, Parallo has already more than doubled in size, from a team of 20 to over 40, servicing more than 60 clients in three markets. This can be attributed to Nicole’s global view – she understands and can manage the complexity of taking our servicing to SaaS companies in more than 30 regions around the world. Her capacity is also demonstrated by the fact that Parallo is adding SaaS customers every month, without losing the care for customers or our people.

A beacon for women in STEM

The reality is that tech was, and still is, dominated by men. That Nicole has earned her position and the respect of her peers in that environment is a testament to her hard work, determination and leadership skills. She has notably fought her way to the top while remaining positive and focused on getting things done. She’s the perfect example of how women can thrive in STEM industries on their terms – another is co-finalist Kaye Harding – Microsoft’s SaaS Partner.


Parallo: finalist in Partner Innovation - Mid-market

This award recognises partners who are delivering advanced solutions underpinned by specialist expertise and guidance. We entered the mid-market category with our innovative app Run-Time for SaaS clients. This automates the delivery of most of our service and keeps our customers competitive by minimising downtime, saving thousands a year, getting issues solved faster and offering peace-of-mind security.

The proof of that pudding is in the 60 SaaS companies we’ve worked with and their total exited value: $2B. One of those successes is Timely. A cloud software service, Timely helps hairdressers and beauty salons manage appointments. We enabled it to focus on product and growth, and – as it turns out – prepare for sale in a very short time.

“The timelines were ridiculous,” laughs Dave Curlewis, Timely’s Head of Platform Engineering. “We’d planned to spread it over a year, and we had to fit it into three months.”

Parallo, of course, could help.

“We had a couple of meetings and came up with a plan – it was painless,” says Dave.

They brought in our deep, focused expertise around specific elements of Azure to meet the expectations of the acquirer. In May 2021, Timely’s hard work paid off – it sold for approximately $NZ135 million.


Parallo: finalist in Tech Innovation - Cloud 

This category awards partners who’ve been making smart use of established and emerging solutions to enhance customer innovation levels. Again, Run-Time was the hero here, bundling our years of IP into an automation library that automatically corrects, monitors and manages Azure environments. For Cin7, that was all about supporting growth and scale. Run-Time delivers 24/7 uptime and availability, so the team can focus on keeping the product ahead of the market.

“I don’t have to learn about hardware, servers, uptime and databases anymore. I can focus on the product and make sure that it is as competitive as possible in our market.” – Danny Ing, Cin7 Founder and Chief Architect

Another client was facing major challenges with the product testing and release process. It used three environments across its application, with each environment needing at least a 45-minute build time before new features or bug fixes could be tested or applied. Parallo re-architected all three environments and built a new automated build-and-release process using Azure DevOps. This resulted in a complete build time of just five minutes across all three environments – with 0% failure.


Cross all your fingers

Whatever the results of these awards, appearing as finalists in the four categories we entered is a real pat on the back and a testament to the hard work of our whole team. We’re off to get our black ties pressed and start crossing all our fingers.


Ready to take your SaaS company to the next level? Get in touch with the team at Parallo.

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