When Gerardo Barranquero launched Avocado Consulting in 2004, software testing wasn’t yet considered a viable discipline in Australia. But with Y2K fears and the advent of a goods and services tax having sparked the need for rigorous testing methods, Barranquero knew he was onto something big.
Nearly two decades later, Avocado Consulting has become a major player in the software testing market and expanded its offerings to include observability, DevOps and DevSecOps, product delivery, managed services and cybersecurity.
“Our brand has been built on our reputation for service quality and client focus.”
“From our humble beginnings to now having headquarters in Sydney and Melbourne and servicing clients across Australia, our growth has been phenomenal,” Barranquero says. “Our brand has been built on our reputation for service quality and client focus.
“We’re known for our tagline, ‘Deliver with certainty’. It’s what our brand stands for and how we’re represented within our industry.”
Initially focusing on two core clients, Avocado Consulting began its market ascension through word of mouth.
“While B2B is driven by relationships, this strategy only takes you so far, particularly if you want to expand into new markets,” Barranquero acknowledges. “Because we wanted to move from purely testing to a broader range of IT services, we had to use a number of organic and inorganic growth strategies to build both our brand and our brand recognition.”
In 2014, Avocado Consulting began forming strategic partnerships with key technology providers, laying the groundwork for its expansion into consultancy and managed services.
“Our tech partners, which include Splunk, Dynatrace, CyberArk and Airlock Digital, are highly regarded in their industry,” Barranquero notes. “They ensure our clients stay at the forefront of business change, offering value and remaining resilient.”
Building on a foundation of cybersecurity established a couple of years ago, Avocado Consulting joined forces with leading allowlisting software provider Airlock Digital.
“Allowlisting is a core cybersecurity essential to protect sensitive data,” explains Barranquero. “Airlock Digital is a valuable partner in helping us secure and protect our clients. Their commitment to delivering trusted, cutting-edge security solutions aligns seamlessly with Avocado Consulting’s mission to empower our clients to deliver with certainty.”
While maintaining these partnerships requires significant financial and time investments, they’re an essential part of Avocado Consulting’s long-term growth plan.
“We have dedicated people within Avocado to support our partner relationships, and we also maintain them through joint marketing and sales activities.”
“They provide the support we need for constant evolution and complement the professional services we have to offer, enabling us to better service clients,” Barranquero says.
“We have dedicated people within Avocado to support our partner relationships, and we also maintain them through joint marketing and sales activities, as well as attending global conferences and partner summits.”
To support its judicious alliances, Avocado Consulting has implemented several other strategies aimed at bolstering its service offerings and market share.
“We’ve increased our marketing capabilities and efforts to enhance visibility and reach, ” Barranquero explains. “We focus on constant innovation and we’ve made several strategic acquisitions to obtain the resources we need to expand at speed. Our geographic expansion into Melbourne has also been extremely beneficial.”
But Avocado Consulting’s journey to greatness hasn’t been without its challenges. Faced with a war on talent that threatened to derail its growth, Avocado focused on creating a strong company culture to attract and retain leading IT experts.
“We’ve implemented a two-year comprehensive training program for new graduates and L&D [ Learning and Development] to ensure our consultants stand out in the market with their soft skills, making them true consultants and not just techies,” Barranquero explains.
“We also offer more than 20 benefits, and we encourage women in tech, both externally and into leadership roles within Avocado.”
“We’ve demonstrated that with change comes an opportunity to deliver differently.”
Shifting the public perception of Avocado Consulting from a software testing company to a full-service provider also took blood, sweat and tears, but Barranquero believes the company’s agility in the face of change worked in its favor.
“We’re realistic in that our focus is on evolution, not revolution. Our approach is iterative. We also benefit from the fact that we’re now big enough to do more, but small enough to remain agile,” he says.
“We’ve demonstrated that with change comes an opportunity to deliver differently. We’ve weathered the impacts of the 2008 global financial crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and now a new era of global uncertainty, but IT is never done.
“So as long as we constantly evolve and make smart decisions, we’ll be the preferred choice for clients and employees for services across the entire IT life cycle.”