Markinson expansion continues with Zeron buy

Markinson expansion continues with Zeron buy

Trans-Tasman business software provider Markinson has furthered its growth strategy in New Zealand by acquiring Auckland services firm Zeron.

CEO Ian Whiting says adding Zeron’s customer base was one of the main reasons behind the acquisition. Among Zeron’s customers are Fletcher Aluminium, Healthlink, Nuplex and Woosh Wireless.

“It certainly adds a lot of customers and extends our capability not just in CRM, but also with business process management (BPM) and other areas.”

Markinson had seven staff in Auckland and Wellington prior to the acquisition and will add fewer than 10 from Zeron, including founder Chris Trabing who has taken up a solutions architect role.

Markinson intends to add “most, if not all parts” of Zeron’s business, says Whiting. These include network infrastructure, a server business, telephony, for which it is a Swyx and Avaya integrator, mobile and remote computing for Windows Mobile, Blackberry Server and iPhones, system integration and CRM with Sage SalesLogix. Zeron was formed in 1992 and became a Sage CRM partner in 1999.

“A lot of the other [parts of Zeron’s business] are related to CRM, such as telephony, which was prompted by customers wanting to dial out of customer management applications,” says Trabing.

Markinson predicts revenues from its New Zealand operations will grow by between 30 and 50 percent in the next financial year, which begins in July.

It is also exploring a presence in Christchurch after June, but its immediate focus is bedding down the acquisitions it has already made, says Whiting.

In March Markinson acquired the CRM arm of Australian sales trainer Acuere, and last November acquired trans-Tasman CRM and BPM company Adexio. The company says the Adexio deal added more than 200 business customers and offices in New Zealand. All Adexio staff joined Markinson at the time.

Senior account executive Matt Tohill says the acquisition of Zeron “completes the package” for his company. “People don’t want to have to deal with four providers, at least not in the business solutions space. In ERP [enterprise resources management], CRM, BI [business intelligence], BPM and CTI [computer telephony integration] tools, if customers can have one clear line for communication, pricing and support, it is much better for them.”

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