Renaissance Corporation is staking its future on the development and export of its own intellectual property in the networking space, saying the move confronts the threat of disintermediation facing resellers.
Chief executive Richard Webb and newly-promoted chief information/innovation officer Doug Casement told Reseller News the company will build its own network appliances and applications, and will work with the company’s current hardware vendors on networking offerings.
“Enterprises need to build secure and agnostically-connectable networks. Resellers could deliver these to enterprises around the world,” says Webb. “My brief is what we do here will be exportable. We’re not going to do it if we can’t find a market for it beyond New Zealand.”
The drive toward network security, remote working and proliferation of connected devices fuelled the company’s new direction, Webb says.
“Companies want secure environments when people connect to the network any time of the day or night. The appliances that will proliferate will be more discretely functional in what they do. Doug’s role in that area will be to come up with an innovative networking platform and some of that IP will be developed in New Zealand.”
Webb adds Renaissance has existing hardware building capability through its subsidiary Insite.
“The future for us is really developing innovative solutions for our resellers to take to market well ahead of the curve.”
The company's profit slide in recent times is well documented - it announced an 87 percent year on year fall in net profit before tax for the half year to June 2009 and this followed a drop of 70 percent year on year in the net profit before tax for the 2008 full year to December. It announced a preliminary unaudited loss before tax of $2.7 million for the full year to December 2009, and former managing director Paul Johnston resigned.
However, Webb says the company has massive potential, and says he would rather create jobs than cut headcount.
Although Renaissance, as a publicly-listed company, hasn’t given the market any formal guidance, Webb says “revenue growth of two percent will not be the norm.”
"I’ve never had a business where it’s been less than double digit growth. A healthy focus on top line growth will translate into bottom line growth.”
Resellers and distributors need to differentiate to justify their role as intermediaries amid an increasing threat to their existence, says Webb. Renaissance’s moves to specialise in the development of network technology will confront this threat, he says.
“The intermediary is under threat [from] technology everywhere. To remain in that role, whether you’re a reseller, system integrator or distributor, you have to have a compelling reason to remain there because technology is creating more and more direct buyer/seller relationships.
“We’re about making sure there’s a reason for intermediation to occur. That means differentiating ourselves. The resellers that work with us will have a great reason to exist because of the IP we bring to the ever-changing world of networks.”
The company wants to be known as an enabler of creativity among local creative industries, says Webb.
Education and retail will remain key pillars, he says, however changes are underway in both areas.