Hamilton-based ICT solutions provider Houston Technology Group (HTG) celebrated its 25th anniversary with a party and a positive outlook for continued growth.
The company, which turned 25 at the beginning of March, saw a 37 percent sales growth last year, according to founder and managing director Alan Chew.
“This coming year I expect it to be about that same order of magnitude,” says Chew.
HTG has been on a steady growth trajectory since it started off with four employees in 1986 selling PC clones. Today, HTG has a staff of 27, with 150 clients ranging from small businesses to district councils throughout the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region. Chew says growth continues despite decreasing IT expenditures among existing clients and what he sees as a continued recession.
“We kept up growth in the last few years by focussing on productivity,” says Chew. “You know, before virtualisation, the average client would buy three servers from me, but today with virtualisation they buy one server. Per client expenditure drops every year.”
Chew attributes his company’s growth to taking on new clients in the small to medium-business space. Chew says HTG’s current client list includes three district councils, a “large charity” and a construction company with 300 employees. The average size of the company’s clients is about 40 users.
HTG’s strategy for growth has been to switch its focus on IT productivity.
“As with the rest of the industry, virtualisation is passe now,” Chew believes. “Two years ago it was news. Now it’s all in a day’s work. The new things today for us are new time-saving technologies, focussing first on IT productivity before we focus on infrastructure.”
This includes implementing scanning technology to help clients automate paperwork. Chew has also arranged for one client to use Livescribe, a system that allows users to take notes by hand while simultaneously producing a digital record linked to voice recording. Chew says he tries to keep abreast of technology that he might pass on to his clients.
The company applies new technology’s internally to help control costs. It has a dictation system that lets engineers conduct on-site meetings with clients while an assistant takes notes remotely.
The company, which has a branch office in Tauranga, is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, a VMware partner and a HP-authorised dealer. Last year HTG became an EMC partner as well.