Divers Group entered its 26th year in business in 2013, taking an unusual path as a kind of IT reseller.
The organisation started off as an international freight and forwarding company, and began to turn its eyes toward new business configuring DVD players to read discs set to the New Zealand country code.
“Because we had a whole bunch of technological staff and knowledge base from the DVD business, that led to some clients coming along wanting us to do that for their computers,” says Lloyd Rayner, sales and marketing manager for the company. “Then we started getting more IT products in and they had a lot of storage requirements. So we could work on the configuration because we had a whole production line set up from the DVD player business.”
These days the company provides lifecycle management services, working mainly in the government and health sectors. The services include configuring systems to go into an organisation and refitting systems coming out for resale in New Zealand and abroad. Divers employs 20 people in three offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Rayner says Divers works with about 40 government agencies, and is looking to get involved with All of Government services. The company’s freight business was a good fit with the kind of unpacking, configuring and repacking work that Divers performs. It’s all about space, says Rayner.
“If you can imagine an organisation with 100 employees and 100 systems coming in at once with all the polystyrene and packaging, you need the space to be able to do that,” he says. “We had the warehouse for that and that led right through to, well, if we’re going to build the new computers and get those out, what are you doing with your old computers?”
Rayner claims that Divers can re-market more than 90 percent of the older equipment it takes over from its clients. The company scrubs data from the old machines in a process that conforms with US military specifications and distributes them to retail-level shops throughout New Zealand, although older systems tend to get shipped overseas.
Working through an accredited partner, metals and other basic material can be recycled from systems that cannot be resold.
“They guarantee that less than five percent will reach landfill,” Rayner says. “It goes through various complicated stages to get recycled. Ideally, of course, re-using the computer is what you want to do.”
Because the company receives machines for clients, it is able to track the lifecycle of systems in a ‘cradle-to-grave’ fashion.
“The ultimate goal of the services we provide is lowering the TCO,” says Rayner.
Packaging for new system builds is also recycled.
Of course, as with every other organisation in IT services, the lifecycle management line of business is continuously changing because of the shift from on-premise to cloud-services, and because of the rising use of devices and smartphones.
“That mix of BYOD and the cloud is making things more complex for IT managers,” Rayner says. “But in terms of the hardware, I think there’s going to be more volume, because of the quicker turnaround. And the physical size of items is smaller but there are going to be more of them.”
Rayner says Divers has won new clients in its system builds and lifecycle management by word of mouth, especially among CIOs. Although, for Raynor, who has been with the company for a decade, that isn’t good enough.
“We’d always like more business, and a bit of that comes from cold calling,” he says. “Which would be me.”