Channel Q&A: Adam Jarvis, CEO, Intrinsic Technology

Wireless technology/cyber space visualisation

What has been your journey to CEO of Intrinsic Technology?

I got into IT after graduating, when I worked for a Unix applications reseller. My line manager was tough but brilliant and I got a great grounding for the years ahead. I then worked my way through Logitech and Nortel, helping to grow channel revenue from $2m to $12m.

I joined Intrinsic as sales and marketing director in 2005 as we entered the voice and UC markets, and it’s been a fantastic journey through the company from there. Intrinsic’s a very people-focused business – lots of room to grow, develop and have a real impact on the direction of the company.

What has been the impact of last year's £30m management buyout?

The buyout was very successful, to the extent that it won the 2012 M&A Award for Buyout of the Year. It’s given us extra freedom, and enabled the management team to pursue our growth strategies. It’s also put us in a good position for further acquisitions – but only if the conditions are right.

Are there any more acquisitions planned for Intrinsic?

We’ve got ambitious growth plans – we’re set for £40m this year and have a £100m plan in place – and acquisitions may well become part of that. But we won’t acquire simply for the sake of growing – our plans for solutions and services development come first, and any companies that join us will have to be part of that.

What has been your best moment in business?

Becoming CEO at Intrinsic. It’s been the pinnacle of my career so far, but also a testament to the brilliant team I’ve had the pleasure of working with. There’s great scope for growth and development so there’ll be many more positive moments, I’m sure.

What was your biggest regret?

Being satisfied in the past with keeping up with the market. There are always opportunities to lead and not follow; to get ahead of the curve instead of being content with simply keeping up with your peers. It’s not a mistake I’ll be making at Intrinsic.

What is the best business advice you have ever been given?

I was always told that hard work was the biggest competitive advantage, and this underpins Intrinsic’s philosophy. We talk a lot about being market leaders and innovators, but in order to have any success, everything must be supplemented by a strong work ethic.

Which company (other than yours) do you admire the most and why?

You have to give credit to the big success stories. Tesco, for instance, has thrived by understanding its customers’ needs and designing its services around them. I think this is something that the channel can learn a lot from.

Which other CEO do you believe has done an outstanding job? Why?

The CEOs that understand that the most important issue is to make a positive change for their customers – not their bottom line – always stand out; those that do usually find that commercial success follows.

What’s next for Intrinsic?

It’s a really exciting time for the company, and our growth targets illustrate this. We want to hit £70m in three years, while sales have grown 23 percent in the last six months alone.

In terms of technological advancement, we’re at a point of great opportunity. As the enterprise environment moves into the cloud we’re in a position to really take control of IT provision for our clients, enabling them to get on with their day-to-day operations. I want the service element to take precedence over our product offerings, through both managed services and business-led consulting.


ITPro is a global business technology website providing the latest news, analysis, and business insight for IT decision-makers. Whether it's cyber security, cloud computing, IT infrastructure, or business strategy, we aim to equip leaders with the data they need to make informed IT investments.

For regular updates delivered to your inbox and social feeds, be sure to sign up to our daily newsletter and follow on us LinkedIn and Twitter.