Systems integrator, Optimation, will look to hire and grow its Australian workforce, as it sees strong growth from the country.
"We have around 12 people in Australia. We will be hiring there to support growth. We operate our workforce as a virtual capability. People are quite mobile and quite a lot of the work we are doing in Australia is supported or the delivery is assisted by the NZ workforce. We think that is a really good model and we are also capable of operating in the other direction.
"We have people in Sydney and Canberra. We would look to hire in both cities. I would describe the growth as measured rather than looking to get scale in terms of number of people on the ground extremely rapidly. We would look to reach around 20 people in the next 12 months; that would be within the range of expectations," says Neil Butler, executive chairman at Optimation.
The company, which has gone from success to success in the last two decades, has around 230 people in NZ, and currently counts delivery of outcomes around big data, business intelligence and analytics as some of its primary focus areas.
"We have some very interesting work going on in the life insurance space. We are working with business partners called Intelligent Life based in Auckland. Together we have business in UK and Asia which is developing very nicely. All of them technology work is done here. We do that out of Auckland and that is the model we intend to continue. By working within market partners, we are reaching those other geographies," says Butler.
The company plans to target the US and Chinese markets with a similar format of on-the-ground-partners, and is targeting the end of the year to get operations going. The firm is also building its own IP in the life insurance space that, it believes, it will be able to leverage between different geographical markets.
"We could potentially use the IP across sectors as well. The life insurance sector on its own is a very large one. The nearest adjacent is health insurance and then there are certainly possibilities to extend that, but really we are focusing on the life insurance one, but pursuing a number of geographies. We also have a Chinese language platform about two thirds of the way through development at present," says Butler.
According to Butler, the company continues to grow, but it does need to question itself all the time to prevent the drift towards becoming less relevant.
Having the courage to challenge your established business with the new models is really a challenge. A lot of the opportunity lies in where there are substantially lower cost models for doing things and that means less of our cost as well as less of vendors product costs. We need to keep that orientation to the customer's goals and objectives so that we are taking ourselves into that space," says Butler.
"Skills is always an issue. If you speak to any of the organisations operating in the sector you would hear that. We all strive for that talent and it is not a deep talent base in NZ," he adds.
According to him, Optimation will possibly look to hire from overseas, and continue to work with current outsourced service providers as part of its business model and the advantages that it provides.
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