Connector Systems is continuing to widen its portfolio in New Zealand following its purchase of Australia distributor Techplus.
Connector recently completed its second full month of business after the deal, and by bringing Techplus brands here, has begun to build out its storage, virtualisation and WAN optimisation offerings.
“We were always on the lookout for growth opportunities in Australia,” says Mark Dasent, Connector’s gm for networking and wireless. “We’ve always had some business there with some of our brands but we weren’t doing a great job considering the distance.”
Connector is bringing some of its vendors to Australia, but more salient to the Kiwi market, an influx of brands here, including universal desktop provider Igel, and disk backup solution vendor ExaGrid. The distribution deal and expanded portfolio has resulted in a staff expansion.
Dasent now has a staff of around 50, with a team of eight in Melbourne, headed by former Clearswift APAC channel manager Chris Barton.
The distributor recently announced the appointment of Jonny Baird as Connector’s BDM for the South Island.
“His background is in building very strong relationships with the South Island reseller base around server storage and networking products so we see Jonny as a key relationship builder,” says Dasent. “He’s going to be responsible for growing and managing all our South Island based accounts.”
The company has also added two members to its Wellington team to grow the business in that region. Joining Steve Wilson in that office are Mark Stuart, formerly of Datacom, as the distributor’s security consultant, and Darren Luke, as a business development manager, after ten years with Ingram Micro.
“So we see big opportunities in the Wellington area and we’ve been strong in that region but we wanted to develop the smaller resellers outside of Auckland,” says Dasent.
The company in early May also brought on board Kylie Clark as a pre-sales consultant. Clark comes to the distributor from the Manukau Institute of Technology and is certified in several of the distie’s brands including Aerohive and Fluke.
Dasent says the driver for growth in New Zealand is filling a perceived niche in value-add distribution for resellers working in the medium sized business market.
“After Ingram, Westcon and Express Data there’s quite a big drop from them down to the smaller, sub $5 million distribution business,” he says. “We see ourselves positioned in that mid territory and growing as much as we can in that space and we’ve been doing that and probably doubled our business in the last two years.”
The distributor actively trades with around 300 resellers, varying by brand, and prior to the Techplus acquisition, has specialised in wireless, security, cabling and voice arenas.
The distributor has also added Imation to its portfolio, bulking up its storage sets.
“We’re going to be doing all the scalable storage products in New Zealand,” says Dasent.
Dasent says the company has attracted vendors because of its strength in training and certification for the brands, a service it is also bringing to Australia.
“The philosophy is the more people that get trained, the more sales we’re going to make.”