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Merged distributors strengthen market reach

Merged distributors strengthen market reach

Niche Auckland-based distributors Packet Engines and Crawford Technologies have merged to become Packet Technologies, with plans to extend the new company’s vendor base.

The company, which began on April 1, will focus on data centre products, WAN optimisation, security, networking and convergence. It will be run jointly between directors Frank Ollie and John Crawford.

The two are in the process of reviewing which vendors to keep, saying they had no competing brands, with the merger also giving them the opportunity to adopt more vendors.

“There were a bunch of people who wanted to work with us (Packet Engines) but said we didn’t have the resources to go after it,” says Ollie.

Crawford says his company was approached by two or three vendors who wanted exclusive local representation, but he wasn’t able to do it.

“Now we can take them on and do them justice,” he says, adding that he had more business than he could handle prior to the merger.

Ollie and Crawford say the customer bases reached by their respective resellers were very different. Crawford Technologies worked with corporates through tier one partners such as Gen-i and Axon, while Ollie says Packet Engines was focused largely on small and medium business.

“It’s allowing us now to address the SME market with some Crawford Technologies vendors,” says Crawford. “It has been about tier one and now we have an existing client base to sell the lower end products into.”

The pair say they have talked for years about a merger with the timing never quite right. They were approached by other distributors about forming a larger entity, but say the process became too complicated.

“If we wanted to run a $20 or $50 million company we could do that, but we would lose our reach and focus,” says Crawford.

The individual companies remain as equal shareholders in Packet Technologies, with the existing offices in West Auckland and the North Shore being run as branches, while Ollie’s wife Lorna continues as an administrator with the company.

Crawford has been in the IT industry for about 20 years, with Crawford Technologies incorporated in 2002. Packet Engines began in 2006, with Frank Ollie joining the company a year later after managing LAN Systems locally.


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