VoIP puts Intrical in loop for unbundled growth

VoIP puts Intrical in loop for unbundled growth

he unbundling of the local loop (LLU) is driving change and expansion at Auckland systems integrator Intrical, which expects to double its size over the next year.

Intrical has traditionally specialised in networking, firewalls and IT security but has just announced a move into VoIP and infrastructure support, through its new product Intricare.

Helping with the shift and company growth are two new appointments, sales manager Bevan Trotman and senior network engineer Amit Singh.

Intrical was formed seven years ago by Auckland company director Jeff Herbert, who began his IT career at NZ Post fixing telex machines in 1986.

Herbert, a systems engineer with a background in Novell and Microsoft, has also worked for Wang (today’s Gen-i), Axon and ran his own company Landscape, before selling it around 2000 and starting Intrical.

“Intrical started with a focus on security which evolved into networking and then everything because customers like our people. We are the sort of people that don’t say no. Even if we don’t have the expertise ourselves, we try and facilitate a solution,” he says.

Core partners include Cisco, Microsoft and Symantec, followed by HP, IBM and Citrix.

Herbert credits company success on its “premium service level”, which he says is based on hiring very competent and experienced people, such as having Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)-level qualified staff in security.

Microsoft engineers will have worked on “massive projects” and coupled with its Cisco skills means Intrical can solve problems quicker than others, says Herbert.

“Our up-and-coming focus is voice-over-IP. Our telecommunications partners are delivering the SIP VoIP protocol, which is tied to local loop unbundling.”

The move means companies will no longer need to buy circuits from Telecom as phone systems would be able to rely solely on IP connectivity.

“We will be able to provide end-to-end service and implement a VoIP solution rather than have to segment it (with Telecom),” says Herbert.

Bevan Trotman is also an Aucklander, but began his career in the airforce “blowing things up” before managing the North Shore Airfield for 18 months.

He has been in IT for 13 years, having managed Computerland Hawkes Bay for four-and-a-half years and joins Intrical from Maclean Computing, where he was a sales manager for two-and-a-half years.

Trotman has been brought into Intrical to drive an expansion from a small company of specialist people and senior committed experts to one offering wider services.

“The customer base has asked for infrastructure support because we do the rest so well, so stepping up to offer infrastructure support is not hard,” he says.

A digital forensics engineer is one such specialist, whose work involves finding information on disks, normally as part of some evidence for a trial required by lawyers.

Since the methodology provides rock-solid data cases are often settled out of court, avoiding a need for a trial and related publicity.

“Most of it is employees not acting in the best interests of the company and trying to hide their tracks. It’s a specialist area that’s growing. Staff have more access to computers and companies have more investment in computers, like records,” Herbert says.

Trotman says many of Intrical’s services are used by larger companies. Tier One providers may not have certain specialist staff themselves and will instead contract out such work to smaller providers like Intrical.

“This is another area we are trying to push. We try to offer smarter services and use the intellectual property we have to roll things out in a better way and with a better result,” he says.

Security remains important however, with Intrical ready to carry out its first Network Admission Control, where the PC “has to prove itself” in terms of security before being allowed onto the network.

Just because a company owns a PC it might still be compromised, so Network Admission Control will use a “self-remediation” tool to check for the latest anti-virus software, patches and hotfixes to stop any security breaches before the PC is connected to the network.

“One of the interesting things from a sales perspective is that our geeks truly are geeks. They will check things like admission control and the guys will debate stuff. It’s nice to be able to deliver what is promised,” Trotman says.

Such is the promise of Intrical with its main product ranges Intricare, IntriVoIP, IntricalNet (its own ISP) and Intribiz, the company wants to employ an extra five sales and engineering staff by Christmas. It also plans to move to new premises next year.

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