PowerSmart Solutions is Australia’s second-largest solar company, helping homes and businesses install solar panels that can dramatically reduce their electricity bills.  

The business began in 2008 as a small team of qualified electricians and has been on an incredible growth trajectory ever since. It now has more than 200 team members working across seven offices between Woollongong and Townsville, and has completed more than 27,000 solar installations that have generated electricity savings of more than $30 million.  

In 2023, PowerSmart Solutions grew by 30%, and it’s not always easy to handle the IT needs of a fast-growing business. As head counts and infrastructure requirements have kept evolving, the company has needed an increasing number of apps and workstations. But with a savvy leadership team, and a little help from Datacom, PowerSmart Solutions is on track to grow another 30% in 2024 and maintain its outstanding reputation for customer service.

A Google Workspace integration partner

PowerSmart has been using Google Workspace for many years, which provides the company with the apps and real-time collaboration tools it needs to coordinate all its teams. Although Google Workspace was working very well for PowerSmart, two years ago the IT team decided they needed some more personalised support from a local provider.  

Errol Cain, General Manager of PowerSmart Solutions, chose Datacom to become its integration partner.  

“We now work with Datacom instead of dealing directly with Google, which solves any time zone issues and gives us the local support we need,” he says. “It’s nice to be able to solve problems quickly over email, or pick up the phone in a few instances.” 

Although PowerSmart has a capable internal team that handles most IT issues, anything that needs a little extra expertise can be sorted out with Datacom. For example, some third-party integration support, the more aggressive phishing attempts, and being able to rapidly buy more seats in Google Workspace as the PowerSmart team expands.  

"One of our team's real strengths is the local expertise and knowledge we can bring to projects," says Datacom AD Peter Stein.

Profile photo of Peter Stein, Datacom's Associate Director for Strategy, Product Solutions Group, P
'Datacom doesn't just implement solutions, we empower our customers to become experts,' says Associate Director for Strategy, Product Solutions Group, Peter Stein.

“Datacom has invested in building a team of Google ecosystem experts with unparalleled local expertise from product experts to engineers and professional services. These advanced technical capabilities ensure PowerSmart and our other customers extract maximum value from their technology investments. Our support spans training, enablement, migration, and deployment – we don't just implement solutions, we empower our customers to become experts.” 

“The Datacom team provides our IT and tech support,” Cain says, “and it feels like it’s free because we don’t pay any more than we were previously paying to Google directly.” 

With an extensive suite of apps in use, Cain is always considering how to get the most out of programmes or whether it’s time for an upgrade. From CRMs and satellite management programmes, to platforms for managing legal documents or projects, PowerSmart is always working to continuously deliver to a high standard.

Being selective with outsourcing has helped drive incredible customer ratings

Datacom is one of only a few lucky partners that gets to work with PowerSmart. In general, the company keeps an extremely high number of its operations entirely inhouse, from its solar panel installations to its call centres, all the way through to owning its own semi-trailer for transporting equipment. The result is that PowerSmart maintains control over every step of the customer journey and can ensure that the experience is uniformly outstanding. 

“We don’t want to be just a sales company so we do everything ourselves,” Cain explains. “That’s why we have a 4.9 star rating from almost 1,100 reviews, which is almost unheard of in the solar industry. And this company has been running for 16 years, when the average age of a solar company in Australia is 2.4 years.”

Expanding into two more states in 2024 and 2025

The company’s massive success over the years while still doing almost everything in-house means it relies on only a few select partners, like Datacom, to deliver support in key areas. 

“On the IT side we’re quite small; our CEO did everything himself back in 2019 when I started, and I took over from him. At that time we had 12 sales reps and six people in our call centre, and now we have 33 reps and 17 people in the contact centre, who generally book 400 appointments a week.” 

For the year ahead, the PowerSmart team will be as busy as ever as it anticipates growing by another third and aims to maintain its stellar ratings.  

“We know we’ll be increasing the workspaces again this year, and we have plans to expand into two additional states – Victoria and South Australia. Wherever Datacom can help us, we reach out, and they assist. It’s nice to be able to work with Datacom.”

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