The founders behind PowerNet IT Solutions – Nick Moran and Jacob Ohlson – have stepped down from the business after 30 years.
Moran started Evolve IT in 1993, while Ohlson kicked off Powernet IT in 1994. The two entities then merged in 2019 with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.
The merger also leveraged both company’s "longstanding membership and involvement" with industry association HTG Peer Groups, which was acquired by ConnectWise in January 2018.
In December, PowerNet IT was acquired by Virtual IT Group (VITG) along with Evologic and Greenlight ICT, creating one of the largest privately owned managed service providers (MSP) playing in the small to mid-market with over than 300 staff.
Moran said both Ohlson and himself exited the business “with a heavy heart” from a full-time employment and operational perspective.
“I’ll continue to do some other board advisory work and looking forward to having a bit of a break whilst I’ll consider what’s next – more than likely in the channel,” Moran told ARN.
“It's been one hell of a ride. From a pimply skinny 18 year old kid in 1993 to the not-so-skinny 48 year old in 2023, there has been nothing solo about this journey.
“The strategy was simple. Surround yourself with amazing people and the rest would be easy. These people I surrounded myself with were colleagues, business partners, customers, suppliers and vendors, other IT partners [and] business mentors; many are, and will remain, lifelong friends.
“I look forward to watching your careers and businesses continue to do special things. I’m so proud of what we all achieved.”
Ohlson said VITG’s acquisition produced the need for a major restructure to consolidate their position moving forward.
“As a consequence, it’s now time for me to move on and begin a new chapter too,” Ohlson said.
Ohlson took the time to remember his first client, FAS, when he was on his P plates in 1994.
“Fast forward 29 plus years and here were are – our first and second clients are still with the company. This is not a boasting but a testament to our commitment to our customer’s happiness, which resulted in their commitment to us,” he said.
“Over the years, we have built the most awesome team and family, many of whom I consider great friends. Nick Moran became the best business partner after our merger in 2019. As with any company or family, we’ve had many ups and occasional downs.”
Ohlson said he was excited for Powernet and VITG’s future and still has a vested interest in the business and will continue to support the organisation, just with a different hat on.