Tom Moxon recently became Auxilion’s Strategic Account Director after several years working as Head of I.T. Alliance Resourcing Services, sister company to Auxilion within the I.T. Alliance Group. He told us about his background, his new role, and his excitement over the company’s direction.
What was Tom’s background before joining I.T. Alliance Group?
“I graduated from the University of Hull in 2007. I was going for a job in London with a US firm. The interview was going pretty well, and we started chatting a bit more casually about more personal stuff. I mentioned that I’d met an Irish woman- who’s now my wife- the previous summer, and that we’d been doing long-distance for a few months. He asked where she was based, and I said Dublin. He mentioned that they had a Dublin office and asked if I’d be interested in a role there. I said I thought I would, but that I should probably run it by my girlfriend!
“I remember ringing and explaining, asking how she’d feel about that. She said why not, one of us would have had move eventually. So that’s how I came to be in Dublin! I packed all my stuff into my Peugeot 206 and came over on the boat in June. It was all pretty exciting and new. The weekend I landed in Dublin it was 26 degrees, I was on Portmarnock Beach thinking ‘this is the life.’ It was a rude awakening then a few months later!
“Then there was a ‘sliding doors’ type moment when I interviewed for a job with I.T. Alliance back in 2012. I was quite far down the road with another role, at the contract offer stage. I met Philip [Maguire, Auxilion CEO]. They asked me to go through the process, but it was going to be another two, three rounds and I was under pressure to make a decision on the other role.
“I went to that other company in 2012. Then a few years later, the job of head of I.T. Alliance Resourcing Services became available. Someone I’d worked with previously was with ITARS at the time and put my name in the hat. I met Paul [Schmitz, Group Sales Director] and went through the process, and that’s how I finally ended up joining in 2016.”
Head of Resourcing Services
Tom oversaw significant changes during his time as head of Resourcing Services.
“When I joined there were only two recruiters on the team. They wanted me to come in and have a dedicated focus on Resourcing Services. We’d done some resourcing sporadically with a few customers, but we hadn’t really driven a strategy into that side of the business. Auxilion had just got up and running as well so that was going in parallel, Paul was spending a lot of time on the Auxilion push in the UK.
“I came in to run Resourcing Services and we’ve built a great business and service for our customers since. The team is up to eight now, so it’s quadrupled in size. We’ve strengthened both the Sales and Delivery aspects during this time and have a very strong team within this business today. It’s a different world now from what I walked into. I could’ve joined a few years earlier, but with the Dublin market, and in our industry, you keep bumping up against the same companies. I was very aware of the company and knew people who’d worked here.
“When I first joined, it was probably 60-70% client-facing and business development with the other portion of my time spent leading the delivery team of recruiters. I did that role for seven years, but I’ve now transitioned into a new role as Strategic Account Director. The pivot for me in this new role is making sure I’ve got more time in the week to be out in front of clients strengthening those relationships. We’re seeing the hangover from Covid lifting, and thankfully people are very happy to get back to meeting in person.
“A lot of our customers will never be back in the office as much as they were, and hybrid working is here to stay, but they’re now generally in the office for some time each week. I’m dedicating the majority of my time now to supporting some of our key accounts, companies I’d know well through working and developing those relationships in my previous role. It’s a really interesting role and it makes that face-to-face interaction even more important.”
In Tom’s role, building strong relationships with customers is essential.
“Customers get comfortable with the person they’re dealing with. They want to know who their Account Director is- someone who understands their business. We wanted to work on selling other services alongside resourcing, but customers don’t generally want multiple points of contact. That’s the thinking with the pivot- I have that time back each week when I can have more conversations with the right people about everything we can support them with, using the full service portfolio we have in Auxilion.
“A lot of our customers don’t yet realise the full extent of the services we have and the support we can provide. It's not always front of mind that we have a consultancy business, we have project services, we have a modern workplace practice. We have to be getting better all the time at having more of those conversations so that the message gets across.
“The more time you have with the client, the more you can understand their company and their business strategy. We always want to understand that first and foremost. Then we’ll start building in the digital aspects and the thinking around how you can transform in those areas to meet business objectives. You can’t do that when you’re only having surface level conversations or only checking in every few months. You have to be present to get that trust, to get customers to share those elements of their strategic thinking. They’re only going to do that if they trust you, and they’re only going to trust you if they know you, and they’re only going to know you if you meet them regularly.
“There’s a cycle of building up a relationship to a level where people will put their trust in you and will talk openly, rather than meeting some salesperson who they only meet once a quarter who’s hard selling all the time. That’s not consultative selling. You need the time to invest in those relationships.
“In the new role, walking the corridors of clients again, I’m bumping into people I’d have first met six, seven years ago. That’s been really nice. It’s important to be visible to build those relationships, particularly after Covid. We don’t just sit there waiting for calls, we’re out there nurturing relationships, building them, developing trust so that people will share challenges and problems that we can hopefully build solutions for. It’s loosely categorised under sales, but there are a lot of different hats you have to wear for customers in this role, and sometimes it’s just being that sounding board.”
Auxilion’s partnership model is a crucial part of Tom’s role.
“Before I joined, from the outside looking in, I certainly didn’t have an appreciation of that deep heritage of true customer partnerships. It was important to get my head around that model- that we’re really an extension of our customers’ operations, delivering side by side from inside the tent. You realise that it’s very central to what we do. There’s an element of care, of duty.
“We do the right thing by the customer even when it’s not necessarily the best thing for us as a company. We’re never in it for a quick buck. We think about relationships in the long term. We’ll make sacrifices to support that, and over the years have walked away from business to maintain our customer partnerships. We’re supportive partners and we want our customers to be as successful as possible. This is true partnership and not something I had experienced before Auxilion and the I.T. Alliance Group. We are built different, and I think that’s because of this rich partnership model that’s in our DNA.
“A lot of our business comes off the back of doing a good job, of delivering what we say we’re going to deliver. Once we’ve done that, if we’ve got another customer who wants some validation of what we did in a certain area, it’s amazing how willing our clients are to do that for us. Again, I think that’s because we’ve done the right thing over the years, we’ve done what we’ve said we’d do. When we talk partnership, we mean it. We want to help customers solve problems and deliver on their strategies- that’s us doing a good job. When we’re talking partnerships, we mean it, and I’ve certainly seen that first hand many times over the years.
Tom feels that the future looks bright for Auxilion.
“I think we’re well-positioned as a business. We’re growing our experience all the time in areas that are of strategic importance for clients. That’s essential. We’re forward thinking. We’re not resting on our laurels. We’re working on big projects like a UK acquisition.
“With the people we’ve brought into the business over the last couple of years, we’re adding some great subject matter expertise and strength to the different business lines. That’s really exciting to see. You want to see an organisation growing, pushing boundaries.
“In IT professional services, I really like the whole approach that we’re taking: that we want to be advisors, in partnership with our customers, hearing about their challenges, helping to find solutions. If we do that part right, all the services in our portfolio contribute to that journey. If we go on that journey with the customer from the start, and we help them map it, we’re very well-positioned.”
Tom’s new role also brings exciting new challenges.
“It’s important to make sure you’re still learning. Being responsible now for a much bigger portfolio of our services allows me to understand those services in greater detail. The day to day is quite different. I’m engaging with new people in the organisation, building new relationships with different parts of our business, to understand where we can best contribute. There’s a lot of discovery, a lot of learning where our capabilities and our strengths lie, who the right people are, how you join the dots. Who needs to be involved in conversations.
“Again, you have to build that trust and that capability up. You want to be talking to CIOs and MDs. We need to position ourselves at the right level. It’s good to have some extra space to think and strategize. It’s great that we can be back in the field again to build those relationships.”