ARN honoured the industry’s finest, on September 14, with a standout evening for the Australian channel, recognising the achievements of established and emerging partners. Hosted by Adam Spencer, the eleventh awarding of the channel’s finest set the stage for Ronnie Altit’s induction into the ARN ICT Industry Hall of Fame.
Hear Ronnie’s emotional acceptance speech as he reflects on his career, thanking his competitors, mentors and the judges, and advocates why he DARES TO BE DIFFERENT and you should do the same!
SOME KEY POINTS IN THE SPEECH INCLUDE
[0.45] Ronnie thanks his competitors, mentors and the Judges’
[2.50] The Biggest Business Sin known to man
[3.46] A story about 20 year old Ronnie
[5.15] Taking the IT out of Bulls**t
[7.00] Feedback is a gift, but you don’t always like the gift that you’re given
READ THE TRANSCRIPT
Adam Spencer: With over 20 years of experience across Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore, this entrepreneur is excelling as a new breed of partner.
Following a management consulting stint at BDO and a decade running IT at Credit Suisse, this industry figure developed a passion for the channel in the early 2000s. In co-founding a business that is expanding across the world, this industry veteran now heads up an organisation recognised as a fast growing company, and a great place to work.
But technology isn’t everything to this individual… he mentors over one hundred people in his quest to give back to the industry.
ARN is proud to welcome Ronnie Aliti to the Hall of Fame.
Ronnie Altit: Sh*t. [laughter] You guys have got to give me a minute. I’m an emotional kind of guy, right? I heard the credits there and I heard the history video credits. This has got to be only one little short dude that was there, if you like. [laughter] I look at this table here with the Hall of Famers, I was looking at it this evening. I may not know when the Oscar’s music going to play, but sh*t, I’m going to talk.
The Hall of Famers, they’re like some staunch competitors in my past, staunch competitors. Andrew Thomas, Kingy, where’s Allan King? There he is. Staunch competitors. My mentors, Craig Scroggie, Scott Frew, Nick Verykios, Steve Murphy. Just people who have been such incredible, incredible people to help me, to guide me, to direct me. To think that the judges, and I counted them tonight, there’s a 144 of us.
I had the pleasure of being a judge and seeing the list of people that were suggested nominees for the Hall of Fame. Let me tell you, you with nominees probably don’t know who you are, but there’s a 143 other people in this audience who do know who you are. There were so many deserving people on that list. I am just so incredibly– [applause] That the judges have suggested me in their hall of famers, you have voted for me. Holy cr*p. I thank you.
This event is so iconic. We left from Paris for this event because it’s just such an important event in this industry, and I just never want to miss it. What you and your crew, and Jane’s, and everybody there does to bring this industry together on this night, once a year, is a coup de force. I just totally commend you and your team, well done. [applause] I attended, EDGE, another wonderful, bit of a jolly, [laughter] event at Hamilton Island. I have attended since it started 3 years ago. This year, James asked me to be on a panel to talk about The Partner of The Future.
Seven years ago, I had this vision together with Steve Boi, Itzik Gur and Albert Altit. I committed the biggest business sin known to man, I started a business with two of my best friends and my brother. We’re here seven years later and we’re stronger for it, and it’s amazing.
Everything I’ve done since I was a kid is to be different. Look at me. I’m like six foot minus six. I have curly hair, big ears, wog-looking guy. I was the kid at school who got picked on, the kid at school that got bullied. I was different from day zero. I embraced the fact that I was different, I love being different. How bland being like everybody else.
I’ll just tell you a very quick story. I promise I won’t stay here for too long, I promise you. I’m just so grateful. I’ll tell you a story of when I was 20 years old. I got this job at BDO as a Management Consultant. What did I know at 20? Holy cr*p, I knew nothing. I was a Management Consultant and I drove up to this client. The client was called Complete Engineering, and I remember it just like it was yesterday.
There was this advisor, he’s BMW partners, partners at Managing Director. I said, “F**k me, that’s going to be me one day.” That wasn’t my goal. My goal was to own a business, but I wouldn’t do it until I could think of something that was different. I didn’t want to do the same. Seven years ago with Steve, Itzik and Albert, we started something very, very, very different. We started a business that was 100% channel-focused. 100% channel, that’s all we ever did. We live, sh*t, eat and breathe the channel.
We are partner-obsessed. Andrew Thomas, you, my friend, you are the one who I will always remember that keeps saying to me almost month after month, and then year after year, “Ronnie, when are you going to flip your model? When are you going to start going direct?” I said, “AT, when I’m dying.” I’m not going to take this business direct because I believe that there’s an opportunity here. I believe that the channel needs to do partner to partner and it needs to be able to do with people they can trust. It’s true.
I’m going to write a book when I’m done. If you want to take this down, I haven’t registered it yet. I’m going to write a book when I’m done with this industry. It probably needs to be when I’m done. It’s going to be called Taking the IT out of Bullshit [laughter] because there’s so much crap in this industry. There’s so much stuff that I just want everybody in this industry to know, like be different, do something different. Be bold, take it by the balls. Do something.
We started this business, and seven years ago we were partner and partner. Now, that’s all I hear in the industry. Well, we’re talking about the channel of the future and that partner panel. It was all about partner to partner. Partner to partner is what it’s about. With technology, it’s getting so much more focused these days. Partners need to focus more for them to be successful.
The intent of our business is to provide support to those partners who need to be focused, who have clients who want them to be broad. That is the difference and that was the struggle. I can tell you, it’s been a big struggle. It’s been a struggle to get the channel to trust. It’s been a struggle to be able to prove to the channel that we are really truly there. For me, it was about being different and keeping on being different.
You heard that I do mentoring for people, and I will open that up to anybody. It’s my WHY. People say you need to know your why. My WHY is to have profound impact on everybody that I meet. If I can just have one conversation with somebody that has a profound impact, that will change their lives, and then will in turn help to change the world. Then to me, I will have succeeded. This for me is just–
Success, for me, is all of you. Success, for me, is to be able to provide feedback, to be able to tell people feedback is a gift, but you don’t always like the gift that you’re given. My mentors have given me socks at Christmas. Let me tell you, I haven’t really liked it, but I appreciate it. I just thank everybody. I thank the Hall of Famers. I thank the 143 other judges that took the time to put my name on that list, that voted for me.
I’m incredibly, incredibly– I don’t want to use the word humbled because it’s not freaking different. I don’t want to use the word humbled. I just want to use the word, I’m blown away. I’m absolutely blown away. Thank you very much. I’ll let you all get on with it. Play the Oscar’s music. Thank you so much, everyone.
Adam Spencer: Ronnie Altit. Thank you, Ronnie. Unbelievable, emotional, and a real giver. Phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal.
Moments after the announcement…
Ronnie addressing the audience at the ARN Awards after he is inducted into the Hall of Fame
2017 Hall of Fame inductees: Warren Nolan, Ronnie Altit and Karl Sice
Ronnie Altit is changing the corporate culture landscape. As the founder of Insentra, a global IT Services business, Ronnie has always dared to be different. His vision is to create an outstanding workplace where his people can be the best versions of themselves, love the work they do and amaze each other and their clients everyday. Recently awarded in the Top 10 Best Places to Work, Ronnie believes that an organisation’s culture is paramount to running a successful business. His approach to corporate culture is simple and based on transparency, honesty and creating an open environment where his team can flourish. Under Ronnie’s leadership, Insentra has been awarded Job Advisors Top 20 Coolest Company in Tech, CRN Fast 50, BRW Fast Starters and CRN Editors Award. Prior to starting Insentra, Ronnie worked for an investment bank reaching CIO for Australia and then as General Manager with a global systems integrator. Ronnie is regularly called upon by the media as a spokesperson for entrepreneurship, leadership and corporate culture. He has been featured in BRW, The Huffington Post, The Collective Magazine, Dynamic Business and The Financial Review.