Axon has spent $1 million to redevelop its online procurement system, Axonline, opting for off-the-shelf software from Australian company iSell to do the job. The new system is the fifth iteration of Axon's e-procurement service, which allows customers to buy online from a wide range of ICT suppliers. The first four developments were built in-house, but they have now been replaced with iSell.
Axon's CEO, Scott Green, says the redevelopment is part of a strategy to deliver what he calls "next-generation ICT business solutions" and is part of an 11-point growth strategy delivered last year.
Those strategies cover three broad areas: virtualisation, convergence and software as a service.
"It puts more information in the hands of customers to make better decisions," he says. "Or customers can rely on Axon to make those decisions for them."
That information comes, in part, in the form of technical data feeds from US online technology publisher CNet.
Green says the Axonline, when originally rolled out, was the first ICT-based e-procurement system in New Zealand. It differentiates itself through the breadth of the products it has available: there are feeds coming in from 140 different sources.
He says Axon has had "some talks" with Dell to include its products in the portfolio, but nothing substantive has been agreed as yet. Similarly, he says, talks are going on with Renaissance about Apple and iPhone sales.
The e-procurement system integrates with a configuration management database to help customers manage their assets throughout their life-cycle.
Among key vendors currently on the system, Green lists HP, Lenovo, Toshiba, Citrix, Cisco, Symantec, Microsoft, IBM and Sun.
"The value we offer customers is the value of choice," he says.
The iSell system has two key components, Green says: a quoting engine and online e-commerce.
He says the system is not generally available to casual customers but is targeted at building an ongoing relationship with users.
"It's a low-risk way to start a relationship," he says.