Word of mouth among corporates and the channel is helping Auckland-based Computer Forensics gain ever more work from Australia despite having no office there.
It also plans a move into corporate PC wiping.
Managing director Brian Eardley-Wilmot credits his firm’s success on what he calls a “cyber presence” across the ditch that doesn’t even include a post office box.
“We advertise in Google Adwords, we have a toll-free number that terminates in New Zealand and we have a website,” he explains.
Marketing is done from New Zealand, though Computer Forensics plans to extend this to the Australian equivalents of the technology publications it advertises in locally.
“I think it is unique what we are doing. We are only in Australia in the cyber point of view,” Eardley-Wilmot says.
The cyber-presence was created almost a year ago after the Australian offices of New Zealand firms wanted the company to offer them the services their headquarters here enjoyed. Word also spread to Australian firms and across resellers.
“We use radio extensively in New Zealand but not in Australia because the cost of radio advertising there is horrendous in the major centres. A key marketing strategy is word-of-mouth and the computer dealers over there spread the word. It’s exciting to have a reputation after only a few months,” he says.
Australian resellers are now responsible for a quarter of the company’s business there.
Using the internet and over-night postal delivery allows Computer Forensics to produce a verbal report and fixed-price quote within 24 hours and perhaps another couple of days to complete the job.
“A key factor of being able to operate in Australia is to quickly and efficiently pick up the hard disks from clients. That partnership has worked well. We have picked up from Broome, Alice Springs and all points,” Eardley-Wilmot says.
Overall, this means Australia now accounts for around one-sixth of the company’s growing revenue – a share expected to double by year end.
While many local businesses have complained about a strong New Zealand dollar, Eardley-Wilmot says this is against the American dollar and the trans-Tasman rate has barely changed.
“We do our business in Australian dollars. We don’t carry accounts. We are a cash and carry store. Our Australian clients pay by credit card or telegraphic transfer,” he says.
In New Zealand, the company offers computer investigation, data recovery and disk wipe services, but only the data recovery service in Australia, as the others would require an office over there.
In the next few weeks, Computer Forensics plans a domestic launch of a certified PC wiping service for corporates wishing to recycle their PCs – a service it has offered on an ad-hoc basis.