Eagle360 recently celebrated its first decade in business. That’s quite a milestone, so we sat down with founder and CEO Claudius Sithole to reflect on what it means to be ten.
First, we asked what was the inspiration or motivation behind setting up the company? Claudius didn’t hesitate:
“Having worked in a lot of different organisations, I noticed that all the employees, however high up they were, didn’t really feel like they were part of the plan.
“People can contribute if you give them the opportunity. Similarly, with customers – I felt like they had a feeling they were just revenue sources, not partners.
“They never felt special and important and cared for. My idea was to try and bring those two together. If you have employees in a business they care for, they also have a different level of care for the customer.”
From its first premises (a shared office in Sydney’s Surry Hills), the company has grown and now has more than 20 employees and offices in Sydney, Melbourne and the USA – with more on the way, as Claudius explains:
“We want to be able to provide support throughout the day for all our clients, no matter where in the world they’re located.
“That’s why we’re planning to expand into Southeast Asia and East Africa.”
Service, excellence and Microsoft
Eagle360’s range of products has grown organically. Mainly due to demand from existing customers and by identifying gaps in the market.
The team has developed a Shopify integrator for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and NAV. It’s been very popular with retail clients, as has its electronic data interchange (EDI) integrator, which is mainly used by B2B customers.
While Eagle360 can build new products, it also has partnerships with industry leaders in critical areas such as food and warehousing solutions. That’s why the company has teamed up with Aptean and Tasklet – to deliver the best quality solutions to its customers.
All of Eagle360’s offerings are built around Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Claudius believes this is the best product for small to medium businesses around the world:
“When I started with Dynamics, back in 2000, it was called Navision. I was working as an IT administrator, and I realised it was built for the future. So, I decided to dedicate my time to it.
“Fortunately, my boss at the time encouraged me to do all the training and certifications.
“He highlighted the importance of product and how its impact on supply chain management, would be good in the future.
“He was right.”
A proud history
Reflecting on our first decade, Claudius says he’s proud of Eagle360’s growth – but even more proud of the relationships he and the team have built along the way:
“Building the business from just a few customers to now more than 100 has been a highlight, but what I value the most is the relationships we’ve developed over the years.
“Obviously the relationships within the team … most of our team members have been with us for five years or more.
“We’re always looking for the best talent to offer our customers.
“And some of my best friends now are either owners of businesses we’ve worked with or people we engaged with inside those businesses.”
As with many successful businesses, Eagle360 hasn’t been without suitors. Claudius notes that in recent years there have been a few approaches from investors keen to add to the business:
“We’re still looking for the right partners to help us grow.
“We want partners who share the same vision as us.”
A clear vision
One thing that hasn’t changed since Claudius arrived in Sydney from Zimbabwe with $300 in his pocket and a desire to build something unique is his ability to look ahead and anticipate what clients need. In fact, that’s kind of how the company got its name:
“In Zimbabwe, eagles are special animals. The secret to their longevity is that they continually adapt and reinvent themselves.
“When they have a partner, they partner for life. They have keen eyes that can see things far away.
“I like to think we’re the same.”