Connect NZ ramps up distribution play

Connect NZ ramps up distribution play

Document and communications integrator Connect NZ is on a drive to build the company’s distribution business, after rebranding its associate company Communications Exchange as Idvio.

Communications Exchange already distributed Connect NZ’s Panasonic business print solutions agency and Shoretel unified communications offerings. Connect NZ became a Shoretel partner in March and distributed the agency through Communications Exchange alongside Connector Systems.

However, Connect NZ expects to be able to drive the Shoretel business forward, now it has formed Idvio and has become the exclusive Shoretel distributor.

Two Connect NZ product managers have moved across to Idvio and it intends to recruit a general manager early next year, to form a strategy to grow its distribution business.

Along with Shoretel and Panasonic, Idvio will begin distributing Dart (Digital Auditing Real Time), a managed print monitoring service developed by Connect NZ’s in-house innovation team.

IT services general manager Rodney Featherstone says Dart is a unique offering when compared with print management applications, provided by vendors with their print hardware. He says Dart is focused more on the needs of customers than IT managers and caters for all models, not just those of a particular vendor.

“We identified most businesses care about cost, how much they are printing, and how much they can save. They are business questions not technology questions.

“The most important questions are the ones the client can’t answer, but usually financial decisions are being made based on those answers.”

Dart identifies network-connected devices and reports to Connect’s server every 15 minutes, giving customers a web-based portal to view monthly output volumes and running costs. It automates toner management, with toner shipped from Idvio, and automates billing.

Next year, resellers will be able to offer Dart through Idvio.

Connect NZ’s management structure has also been changing since its formation in 1979, having grown to include four branches, Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

The company now has divisional managers overseeing each technology area – AV, voice, IT services and the document business. Featherstone says this makes it easier for vendor suppliers to deal with Connect NZ, rather than communicating separately with each branch.

The other three managers are Ian Gaunsel (AV), John East (unified communications) and David Thompson (document). Each reports to CEO Karl Rosnell.

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