The perks of working for an IT company are many. Just look at Google. Consistently ranked as one of the best companies to work for, the tech giant offers its employees free food, onsite medical staff, massage therapists, decompression (stress) capsules and so much more. Why does Google do it? Reportedly because, ‘It’s the right thing to do.’
Now, Subnet – a leading provider of ICT professional services in South Australia – may be smaller than Google, but its heart is just as big. Employees here get access to a full gym, a personal trainer, flexible work arrangements and the coolest new gadgets and gizmos to hit the market – simply because, “It makes a big difference.”
In fact, it’s the “making a difference” that causes Subnet’s Managing Director Brett Lodge to leap out of bed each morning, eager to start his day. “It might sound corny, but I want to make a difference in people’s lives,” he shares. “It’s why I come into work every day.”
His desire stems from many years in the corporate world, working for large corporations. In that setting, employees can be just another cog in the machine. But not at Subnet. Here, employees are valued and encouraged to speak up and share opinions.
“Culture is absolutely critical. It’s what makes the difference between a mediocre business and a successful one,” Brett says. “I’ve worked in much larger organisations in the past where your opinion falls on deaf ears, and you don’t really understand the impact you make. I never wanted that at Subnet. Here, we have a culture that feels like we’re all family – everyone’s opinion matters, and you go out of your way to help someone else.”
Sometimes, a day in the office can even feel like Christmas morning. As a future-focused company, Subnet invests in all the latest-and-greatest technologies to hit the market. And, thanks to its impeccable culture, its employees are empowered to make the decisions on what to buy.
“We’re a bit geeky. We like our gadgets and toys,” Brett laughs. “So, pretty early on we started our business equipment program. Essentially, every two years, we give our employees a pile of cash to go and buy the tools they want to use. These items help our team deliver business, plus they get to play with cool new things.”
It’s a win–win. Whether it’s the endorphin rush from a pumped-up workout at lunch or a desk full of new high-tech toys, the office morale really pays off. “It translates to our customers,” he says. “If we take a phone call with a customer who is annoyed, and we’re really enthusiastic, then it comes across on the phone. It makes a real difference to have employees who are passionate about who we are and what we do.”
Of course, it’s not difficult to feel passionate about the work Subnet does. This local Adelaide company supports
a wide range of Australian-based businesses like the not-for-profit Zoos SA conservation charity that supports animal welfare, and the Apple Distinguished School Aberfoyle Park High School, revered for its culture of excellence and cutting-edge technology.
“We choose to only work with those customers and partners where we can make a more tangible improvement to their business and, hopefully, their lives in some cases,” Brett says. “We want to make a real difference. Through our experience and excellence, it’s something that permeates to the core of Subnet.”
That’s why the company only hires the best of the best. There’s not a single person on its payroll that isn’t technically inclined. “Our employees have the skillset to understand what the real problem is. They are able to fix things straight away instead of simply providing a cursory response,” he shares. “Every person in our chain adds value. It really sets us apart from the competition.”
The part where it gets difficult, though, is adhering to budget restrictions. Subnet creates customised solutions for each of its customers and that often takes some clever, out-of-the-box thinking. “There is no one solution you can just stick in place to make all your problems go away,” Brett says.
“For us, it’s about creating products and services that allow our customers to leverage our experience and get the security they need to be supported. The tricky part is finding ways to deliver those in a cost-effective manner,
so all of our customers can handle it.”
One way Subnet does this is by leveraging the power of collaboration. Take its long-time partnership with software company Veeam, for instance. They’ve grown together over the past decade, working out any kinks along the way. It has become a true partnership, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
“We want to be the latest and greatest for our customers.”
“This partnership has really made a huge difference to both us and our customers,” he says. “It has allowed us to deliver high-quality solutions at a price point that suits our customer base. We’ve been able to continually add products and solutions to meet the changing demands of our clients’ in a very innovative way. Growing with them over the past 10 years has been fantastic for both of us.”
As Subnet turns 21 in July 2021, Brett looks forward to the beginning of something new. Just as software versions continue to be updated to remain relevant, Subnet does the same. “We’re deep in the track of changing from Subnet 2.0 to Subnet 3.0,” he says.
“We want to be the latest and greatest for our customers. We don’t want to just rely on our past experience and fall back on our laurels. This is our opportunity to wash out everything we don’t need and relaunch ourselves.”
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