OSS enjoys 'organic growth' led by MSP business

OSS enjoys 'organic growth' led by MSP business

Keeping 'ahead of the game' with vendor partnerships and the open source community

Open Systems Specialists (OSS) says its business is thrumming, currently driven by its managed service provider wing.

“Our strongest area of growth is the MSP business, with organic and new business growth,” says general manager Gavin Stone. “Our consulting business remains steady and strong on the back of a mixture of partnered and primed engagements.”

Wherever the growth has been in its 17 year history, OSS seems to have always placed an emphasis on its consultative role.

The company works out of Auckland and Wellington with a staff of 35, a manpower level that has remained consistent over the past few years, Stone says. The company maintains close relationships with its vendors, which include Cisco, Citrix, Oracle, NetApp, IBM, HP and Red Hat. The company makes a point of doing technology research to bolster its position as an enterprise level consultant.

“We've always been a organisation that brings a consultative sales approach, coupled with the results of our technology research,” Stone says. “Most of what we do is specifically tailored to our clients requirements and as such we hold strong relationships with our clients. It's that approach and our innovative thinking that I think differentiates us.”

While OSS has been around for years, Stone says you can’t compare how businesses remain competitive now versus the mid 1990s, at the dawn of the internet, and before everything-as-a-service gained momentum.

“The market is constantly changing and there are new challenges every day, our challenges in the 90s were very different and I don't think we could say that either was more difficult,” he says. “Our growth has been purely organic. The market is always fragmenting and consolidating, it’s a natural cycle that I think people generally accept.”

Current trends are largely influenced by vendors positioning for growth, Stone says. Simultaneously, clients are responding to these influences when they seek to refresh their technologies, with an eye toward how open source and the cloud will impact them.

“We try to keep ahead of the game with technology initiatives and releases from vendors, and the open source community,” he says.

OSS has been recognised by vendor partners over the years, from the old Sun Microsystems to Red Hat to IBM. In 2010, IBM awarded OSS the storage reseller of the year award in its business partner award programme.

While OSS understands the importance of its relationship with vendors, and acknowledges the support they provide with things like lead generation and marketing funding, it puts its ingenuity and independence above all else.

“We don't rely on them, per se,” Stone says. “These things are all great, but a business can not rely on others for their success. It's important for all resellers to understand their clients, regardless of size and capability.”

Editor’s note: The sixth IBM New Zealand Business Partner Awards is open for submissions until September 16. For information on categories and rules, visit

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