Founder’s Story

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Founder story

Our Founder’s Story

Tony Nicol, Co-Founder and Chairman


A true technologist at heart, Tony is passionate about using data to improve our lives – from making better decisions in the enterprise, to driving smarter cities, better healthcare services or technology-assisted agriculture practices.

Tony is the founder of Sydney-based Servian; a 900-person-strong enterprise cloud, AI, data analytics and digital experiences consultancy. Fresh from Servian’s acquisition by global systems integrator Cognizant in 2021, he’s on a mission to make video data actionable in the enterprise with VisualCortex.

Early Days

Early days

Innately curious about how emerging technology can enhance the way we live and work, Tony completed his Bachelor of Science (Microelectronics and Computing) from Aberystwyth’s University of Wales in 1989. He subsequently graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a Master of Science (Applied Artificial Intelligence) in 1990.


Throughout the naughties, Tony held a range of leadership roles, working as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at EDS Consulting Services (2003 – 2005). In 2005, he founded Globalsoft, an enterprise cloud consultancy focused on delivering managed services, enterprise data management, analytics and application development capabilities. Tony worked as Globalsoft’s Managing Director until 2007, when he was then appointed CTO at DWS; a leading Australian IT and managed consulting services group (2007 – 2008). In 2009, Tony became Chief Data Officer for Wholesale Banking at National Australia Bank (2009 – 2010).
Early Days

Servian (2008 – 2021)

In 2008, Tony founded enterprise cloud and data consultancy, Servian: The place where talented technologists matter. In 2010, he resigned as Chief Data Officer for NAB Wholesale Banking, taking on Servian’s CEO role full-time. With Tony at the helm, Servian grew year-over-year to become Australia and New Zealand’s leading consultancy specializing in solutions, advisory and managed services across cloud, data and DevOps. Servian has worked with more than 190 major companies in ANZ in the banking, telecommunications, insurance, retail and government sectors, including eight of ANZ’s 15 largest companies. Prior to its 2021 acquisition by Cognizant, Servian won a swathe of awards via its chief technology partners, including: Google’s Services Partner of the Year (2019 – 2020), Snowflake’s Snow Pro and Snow Mate awards (2019 – 2020), HashiCorp’s APJ Services Partner of the Year 2020, and Talend’s APAC Value Added Reseller of the Year (2020).

2021 – new ventures abound

In April 2021, Tony took the Video Intelligence Platform that his team had been building at Servian and founded VisualCortex Pty Ltd as an independent software company. Tony’s goal is to make video analytics accessible and valuable for all video-rich industries and business functions throughout an organization. When he’s not working with the VisualCortex team to make video data actionable in the enterprise, he’s busy helping to grow Vivanti. Based in the US, Vivanti is a modern data-focused cloud consultancy, which Tony also founded in 2021. Tony’s aim is to take his consultant-led, customer-first organization stateside, to build a new home for the best cloud and data minds throughout North America.
Early Days

Ready to unleash the value of your video?

Get in touch with the VisualCortex team today