Oakton Limited

  • Overview

Tops down under

Founded in 1988, Oakton has become one of Australia's top technology and business consulting companies, with more than 1,150 employees and five offices in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Hyderabad (India).  Although many multinational consultancies have set up shop in Australia and New Zealand, Oakton says it's not competing on their turf.  Instead of offering as many different services as possible, Oakton emphasizes its focused service expertise within the domains of business systems consulting, delivery and operations services.  In addition to its business consulting, financial management and assurance services, the firm provides specialist end-to-end IT services to plan, deliver and operate business systems.  There are no products like hardware or network solutions for sale at Oakton; for those needs, the firm turns to its partner network of global and local product companies.  There are three main lines of business at Oakton: consulting, delivery services and operational services.  The consulting division provides enterprise strategy and architecture (including business process management, IT strategy and IT management consulting); assurance and risk management (including audits and IT security); financial management consulting (with services for business improvement, corporate government, accounting, reporting and costing); and management consulting (such as strategic sourcing and organizational transformation).  The firm serves a wide range of industry sectors, as well as federal, state and territory governments. 

Buy 'em

Since making its debut on the Australian Stock Exchange in June 2000, Oakton has grown steadily through a series of strategic acquisitions.  Its first buy was Melbourne-based Frontline Consulting, an Oracle e-business services firm.  From 2000 to 2006, Oakton swallowed five more business solutions and information management firms, including Melbourne's Charter Wilson, Aston IT Group and Clickstream.  It also acquired Sydney-based mPower, another Oracle services company, and the Australian arm of U.S.-based Tier Technologies.  In June 2007, Oakton finalized one of its biggest acquisitions yet: the purchase of IT solutions provider Acumen Alliance.  One of Australia's largest privately owned consultancies, Acumen's network covered New South Wales, Victoria, Canberra and Queensland.  Its presence in Canberra was especially strong, the Australian federal government was always its biggest client, contributing approximately 50 percent of annual revenue.  The deal added 280 permanent staff and 100 contract employees to Oakton's payroll, sending the firm's total headcount to more than 1,000 for the first time in its history.  Oakton's current managing director and CEO, Neil Wilson, came onboard with the 2000 acquisition of his firm, Charter Wilson (he's Wilson).  Before founding that company in 1997, Wilson had held a senior IT post at Coles Myer.  Brought into Oakton as a managing director, Wilson became COO in 2002 and rose to the position of CEO in 2005. 

More clients, more time

Oakton's fiscal year 2007 results, announced in August, showed that the firm's growth strategy was working.  Total revenue climbed from $63.9 million in 2006 to $95.6 million.  The products and services industry gave the firm the largest chunk of its business, contributing 36 percent of total revenue.  Financial services was the second-busiest sector, responsible for 23 percent of earnings; communications and high tech rounded out Oakton's top three industries, bringing in 15 percent of total revenue.  Beyond dollar figures, Oakton reported that in 2003, its average number of services per client was 1.5.  In 2007, the firm's top 25 clients bought an average of 4.12 services.  The number of clients Oakton serves has gone up, too, from 176 in 2003 to well more than 350 in 2007.  Looking ahead, Oakton intends to pursue bigger contracts with longer time frames, in 2005, most of its engagements lasted around six months, but these days, the firm typically takes on contracts for one or two years.  Its new offshore facility in Hyderabad is scheduled to play an increasingly important role in these larger, more involved international assignments. 

Contracts galore

In August 2007, Oakton inked a deal with Tenix Solutions to provide AUS$8 million in software development services.  Tenix Solutions, a member of the Tenix Group, was selected by the Victorian government to redevelop and operate the state's infringement management enforcement system (IMES).  As the project's major development partner, Oakton will provide Tenix with the software services necessary to support the IMES.  In February 2007, Oakton announced that an existing contract with a major global financial services company had been extended to April 2009.  The minimum value of the extension is approximately AUS$3.4 million over the two-year contract period.  This project was one of the first to be handled by Oakton's new Hyderabad office; most of the services provided under this contract were transferred there by August 2007. 

Not a good year

The year 2009 brought quite a lot of drops for the consulting company.  Its revenue, for example, dropped from $201.29 million in 2008 figures to $193.60 million, a 3.82 percent drop from a year-to-year comparison.  EBITDA, meanwhile, fell a whopping 40.28 percent from $41.01 million to $24.49 million. 

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Oakton Limited


Level 8
271 Collins Street
Melbourne 3000
Phone: +61 3 9617 0200
Fax: +61 3 9621 1951
www.oakton.com.au

STATS


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: OKN
  • Stock Exchange: ASX
  • Managing Director & CEO: Neil Wilson
  • 2009 Employees: 1,157

Key Financials

  • 2009 Revenue: $194 million