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Audent interview with CRN Magazine

Virtually working together

Doug Woodburn Managing Editor at CRN explores the Audent consortium. 

Audent says its virtual model is ‘way forward’ for channel Reseller consortium Audent claims it is taking the market by storm with its ‘virtual’ model after enlisting resourcing professional services consultancy Klarion Ltd as its tenth member.

Founded in 2010 by former 2e2 manager Jeremy Hennequin, Audent leads a consortium of suppliers offering services covering security, mobile working, managed services, supplier consolidation, application development and resourcing.

Talking to CRN, Hennequin said the addition of Klarion will help it meet demand from clients looking to recruit technical staff.

“We took the top-10 CIO wish list and instead of employing 500 staff, we went to ten different companies to fulfil those areas and said ‘come and join the consortium and we will take on the likes of BT’,” Hennequin said.....

Hennequin described Audent, which is backed by three private investors and claims to have a combined turnover of £60m and 600 staff, as a “virtual” company.

Consortium members include IT security member Camwey Secruity, Citrix consultancy Nastek, integrator Kalpadrum and airtime partner Evolve Telecom, “We are like VMware, but a company,” he said. “Audent is the hypervisor and the consortium members are the VM instances. We expand resources when we need it and switch it off when we don’t. This is a new way of operating and I think it is the way forward.”

Once a project has been sold and implemented, Audent invoices and the customer and shares half the margin, Hennequin said. Discounts are agreed with all members so that when Audent quotes corporate clients they don’t get the effect of margin on top of margin, he added.

Audent set up a resourcing arm two years ago, an activity new member Klarion will lead, with Klarion’s Chris Jasper becoming strategic resourcing director for Audent.

“If a customer asks us to find them a network technician, Chris will do the searching,” Hennequin said. “What they like about us is we are practitioners of IT, and resourcing is a massive growth spot for us.”

Hennequin said product is secondary to customer requirements for Audent, adding that is its product strategy is guided by a ‘technical excellence committee’ comprising senior managers at universities and large corporates.

“It’s there to shape the consortium,” he said. “If a vendor approaches us, we give it to them to evaluate, and quite often we have to tell them they’ve failed, because they got two out of ten on price and were seen as a nice to have.”