Every cloud has a silver lining, they say. The unravelling of Maclean Computing is no exception. For Belton IT Nexus, at least.
Belton IT acquired Maclean’s procurement business six months ago and has since gained a 75 percent increase in its managed service business. Belton’s CEO says the growth of the business is not entirely due to the acquisition of the former Maclean customers.
Belton acquired the names of 40 SMB customers in a February deal that was described by both Jason Agnew and Chris Maclean as a win-win. But Agnew says the customers did not land on a plate at Belton IT Nexus.
“We took over and invited 40 customers to look at using our services," he explains. "We were given an opportunity by Maclean to be introduced to 40 clients. And then there was a sales process which we had to go through. From the 40 that we talked to, 30 decided to partner with us.”
“We didn’t pay for the customers," Agnew says. "But there was a lot of time and a lot of energy put into it. It was definitely a commercial arrangement. I don’t like the idea of paying for customers and I don’t think that’s what we did. It was more making sure everybody was remunerated for the time they spent making the whole project happen.
“As far as I’m concerned that’s business and that’s how businesses grow, they acquire and merge and take on other clients and they pay for that process, there is no free clients list out there. Some people may not like it but I tell you what it’s a very successful growth strategy for a lot of businesses globally.”
Agnew says the 30 clients that came across to Belton IT Nexus were using Acquire for procurement services through an arrangement with MacLean.
The clients also wanted managed IT support, Agnew says. “An important point to make and to get across is that none of the clients were guaranteed to us. Nothing was solidly guaranteed. All we got was an introduction and there was a full sales process that took part and all but maybe five of them went to market and compared us to the competition that is out there.”
Belton It Nexus now has 16 staff with 12 engineers and services clients in New Zealand, Australia and Fiji.