Our History.

The history of 365 Solutions Group is long and complex, as is usually the case with an entrepreneurial venture born from dissatisfaction with the way things were being done. It really started with Tristram’s history of working with applications within telecommunications for many years, and finding delivering solutions that genuinely helped business to save money and improve their outcomes enormously rewarding. Almost without noticing, he found himself working in IT rather than with telecommunications software, as the two worlds that were once entirely separate became completely entwined.

Having learned about Office 365 in around 2015 so that he could help a telecommunications business started selling Lync (which became Skype for Business, now Teams) instead of systems, he was very pleasantly surprised by the completeness of the business applications offering that Microsoft had built. Through a series of happy accidents, he found himself working for a Microsoft partner where he met Kim Brian (Kim Petty as she was at the time), and this led to Tristram launching the business with a mission to deliver first-class solutions that deliver real business results with a compelling return on investment.

2016
January
January

Tristram joins a Microsoft partner business as a BDM, and quickly realises the enormous potential to help business of every size to drive efficiency and improve their operations. Kim and Tristram work together to identify existing customers to approach, and even though Kim’s role was supposed to be in marketing, it was apparent that she had learned a great deal about the Microsoft applications.

July
July

Tristram approaches the business owner to address the long delays in sending proposals to customers, and poor customer outcomes, with plans to turn things around, to which the owner agrees in principle. This involved taking a management role in the business, as well as an equity position, as there would be a mountain of work to get the operations running smoothly overt the coming years.

October
October

When it became apparent that nothing was going to change any time soon, Tristram started writing a business plan to launch his own venture, to do things the way he believed they ought to be done. Serendipitously, one of the potential investment partners he planned to reach out to called him first to arrange a lunch meeting. Over the course of that meeting, the decision was made to develop a detailed business plan and form a partnership to bring this venture to life the following year.

2017
January
January

Connect 365 was launched, with Tristram as the business development and management lead, and Kim as the technical guru who would have to keep all the promises Tristram would be making. The funding was to be provided by the business partner, who would take a passive role in managing the business except for handling the finances. We were billing on Day 2, with some SharePoint migration work through a referral partner, which was a very promising start!

June
June

We finished the financial year with a small loss, which was to be expected with a start-up, especially as Kim went on maternity leave to have her second child. Poor Kim left the office at 5pm on the Friday and went into labour 4 hours later, so got absolutely no time off before her baby was born. We managed to keep the business going in Kim’s absence by employing our first intern, Allen from Taiwan, and outsourcing the technical project and training work to resources in the Philippines.

October
October

We hosted our first event, a cyber security information evening in the guise of a wine and hors d’oeuvres tasting evening, which went down very well (well, the wine did!). With over 30 guests and 5 speakers, we chalked it up as a success. Kim started working a few hours a day twice a week to ease her way back into things, and to help us out as using outsourced resources was less effective and hard to manage. We employed our second intern, and started to get things back on track with some new resources managed indirectly by Kim.

2018
January
January

Kim returns to full-time work with the company, and we start getting busier than ever with lots of referrals coming from partner businesses to whom we pay commissions. We start taking on two interns at a time, as they had proved to be an invaluable way for us to increase our capacity, and they were very grateful for the opportunity to gain experience.

Taking stock after our first full year of trading, we review the work we have completed and whom we have done it for, and notice that around 40% of our customers are Not For Profits (NFPs), at which point we decide that not only do we know this market and their problems quite well, but it’s also a sector in need of support, so we focus on that as our primary market.

March
March

After a surprisingly busy festive period, we were breaking even and needed to start looking at expanding the team. We took on our third paid employee, Hardeep, who had impressed during her internship with us. We also moved offices from Coorparoo to Eight Mile Plains, where there is parking for the whole team.

June
June

It became apparent that Tristram and his business partner were not on the same page about how to run and fund a business, and so they agreed to part company with the partner keeping the existing customers and trading name, Tristram keeping the team and finishing off projects at his own cost to ensure that customers were not left with unfinished solutions.

July
July

365 Solutions Group starts trading, with a new funding partner, a new agreement about funding, and business management being left entirely in Tristram’s hands. The new entity moves to offices in Creek St in Brisbane, and signs new business on the first day of trading. We started with three employees and three interns, as we were proving very successful in providing them with real-world skills to help them find employment, and it was also a useful talent pool for us to draw from at minimal cost.

November
November

After being invited to a seminar by Dent Global, who are running the Key Person of Influence program he joined, Tristram signs the business up as members of B1G1, the global giving community. This builds the solid foundations for 365 Solutions Group to become a ‘business for good’, something of which we are extremely proud.

December
December

After a frantic first 2 years, the Christmas break provides a proper opportunity for Tristram to take some well-earned leave for a few weeks while things are quiet, but not before employing the fourth full-time resource, Winfred, after a very successful internship.

2019
April
April

Having outgrown their office space in Creek St, the team moves to Hub Anzac Square, in the heart of the city in Adelaide St. This is great for the team as they can catch the train from station that is connected to the building they work in, and there are buses to every corner of Brisbane within a 3-minute walk of the office, and the facilities are second to none.

June
June

Tristram participates in the CEO Sleepout, and raises over $4,000 for St Vinnie’s to support the incredibly important work they do providing essential services, food and shelter for the homeless. He was shocked to learn that there are over 130,000 people homeless in Australia every night, including over 30,000 children, which is a national disgrace for a country as wealthy and privileged as Australia. It was a very eye-opening experience about the hardships and stigma faced by homeless people, and the business has supported the event in various ways each year since.

September
September

Having signed up to B1G1 almost a year before, Tristram departs for Kenya to go on their study tour to visit worthy and inspiring projects that B1G1 supports there. This proves to be one of the most important and enjoyable experiences of his life, which inspires him to support charities even more, through B1G1 contributions for every significant activity within the business preferential pricing for NFPs, and becoming involved in more local fundraising efforts. The DNA of the business has been truly established at this point. As a massive bonus, he also gets to fulfill his childhood ambition of going on safari in the Masai Mara national park, which is every bit as wonderful as he’d imagined.

October
October

Tristram returns from Kenya and shares with the team his vision for the business to make a positive difference to the global community, and supporting the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. His return also coincides with the news that Kim has managed to pull together the last stages of a massive tender submission for the Queensland Government, and a few weeks later in late October they were advised that they had been successful. This was a real game changer, as it was more than 5 times bigger than their largest project to date, and secured their future for the next year at least.

2020
March
March

COVID-19 struck around the world, which as very unfortunate for one team member, Winfred, who had gone home to China to visit family members before it had really hit the news in Australia, and the travel ban for international visitors who were not permanent residents happened while he was overseas – he has still not been able to return to Australia, and is working from his parents’ house in Western China.

Just before restrictions were placed on gatherings, 365 Solutions Group sponsored the International Women’s Day Awards which were presented during two spectacular events on the Gold Coast, at Home Of The Arts in Bundall – a gala dinner for the Women’s awards, and a breakfast function for the girls’ awards. Tristram was surprised to finds himself not only the major sponsor, but also the only man involved in either ceremony.

June
June

Initially, when lockdowns started rolling through the country, all future projects were placed on hold, even though there were plenty of work in progress that needed to be finished, but once it became clear that it was here to stay for some time, business started clamouring for 365 Solutions Group’s services to help them work remotely while keeping their date secure.

During this time, Tristram invested in a branding workshop to identify the thing that really make 365 Solutions Group different, and to capture our values and essence in effective messages so we could articulate how we help businesses to do more with less. They also formalised their proprietary project methodology, A5, into a clear process and value proposition for customers, which helps them to win business and make customers very happy.

September
September

Having finished a successful year where earnings were literally doubled over the previous year, Tristram was able to buy out his business partner and take on 365 Solutions Group as his entirely his own, which has made a massive difference in being able to make strategic decisions.

November
November

Always impatient for growth, learning and results, Tristram finds himself coming across several coaching, mentoring and networking programs that all make sense as organisations to join, and as the team has grown sufficiently to free him from being mired in operational activities, he signs up for Entrepreneurs Organisation, QLD Leaders and Abundance Global within the space of a month. Each of these has been very helpful in developing more rigour around processes, business metrics and marketing focus.

December
December

Having clarified the story of what 365 Solutions Group is all about, and defined what they wanted to achieve, Tristram entered the MyBusiness Awards under two categories, Business Leader of the Year and ICT Business of the Year. In the online awards ceremony in December, Tristram was amazed and delighted to learn that they were finalists for the ICT Business of the Year, and that he had won the Business leader of the Year! He felt a bit churlish wishing it was the other way around, as the former might make the team feel more recognised for their consistently excellent work, which was the reason for them winning anything.

2021
February
February

The team had grown too large for the 10-seat office in Hub, so 365 Solutions group had to take on a second office, and start using the training space for team meetings as the boardroom wasn’t able to seat everyone at the same time. At this point there were 11 permanent team members, one temporary team member and 3 interns.

This month also saw the company recognised for the work they do in the NFP sector by being appointed as Tech for Social Impact ambassadors for Queensland, which means they are one of the partners that Microsoft refer NFP customers to when they make enquires about donation licences and other NFP initiatives sponsored by Microsoft.

April
April

Having been involved in several forums supporting the Not For Profit (NFP) space and seeing that there are better ways of delivering value to the sector, Tristram launches an initiative called The Impact Place. It is a bi-monthly online clinic for NFPs, where prominent NFP leaders share their storied and experiences to help other NFPs do more with less, they provide updates in Microsoft’s Tech for Social Impact offers and releases, and specialist consultants run breakout rooms to delve deeper into specific challenges the attendees are facing.

This was also the month that saw 365 Solutions Group sign up as members of the Captains Club, a charity that supports the Chappell Foundation and other worthy sports-related organisations that raise funds for worthy causes, especially around homeless children. The events are not only very successful as fund-raising vehicles, but they are also enormously entertaining and provide the opportunity to meet sporting legends from various disciplines that you would likely never otherwise meet.

May
May

Having been successful in the MyBusiness Awards, Tristram decided to enter the APAC Stevie Awards. The Stevie Awards are a collection of international awards with about 11 separate categories, such as Women in Business, APAC, Best Employers etc., and 365 Solutions Group were once again successful with two entries, this time winning the Gold Stevie for Innovative Management in Technology Industries > Up to 100 Employees, and a Bronze Stevie for a Bronze Stevie for Innovation in Technology Management, Planning & Implementation > Computer Industries.

August
August

365 Solutions Group were finalists in the B1G1 Annual Giving Awards, which they are immensely proud of. These awards recognise various ways in which businesses contribute to B1G1, from introducing new members, to the variety of projects they support, to total impacts created, and it is the latter for which they were nominated.

September
September

Microsoft started taking notice of the work that 365 Solutions Group had been delivering for their customers, especially the Power Apps projects and those in the enterprise sector. Some of the Account Managers at Microsoft started introducing them to new customers, which is a significant boon for establishing credibility with new prospects who have never dealt with you previously. Coincidentally, this month saw them achieve Microsoft Gold Partner status in the Cloud Productivity category.

Now
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