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Rivals gain from merger unease

Rivals gain from merger unease

OPPORTUNITIES are still flowing for rival integrators as Telecom continues to merge Computerland and Gen-i into one.

According to industry sources, Datacom recently won a deal off Gen-i to supply Air New Zealand with Microsoft licences, while Axon says it continues to benefit from uncertainty generated by the changes.

When Telecom acquired Computerland last September, Axon account director Simon Goode said he expected the move to create opportunities for other integrators as customers feel tentative over the merger.

Since then Axon snatched a desktop and server support contract at Air New Zealand from Gen-i in February, claiming Telecom’s integration of two of its largest rivals has boosted its profile among IT service providers in the country.

Now, as Telecom continues to merge the Gen-i and Computerland businesses, Axon general marketing manager Scott Green says opportunities are still appearing from the changes.

“They are facing the normal challenges when merging similar but different businesses of making sure customers and their own people feel confident with what is happening. There is never 100% satisfaction when this happens and it is creating some opportunities for us,” he says.

Meanwhile, Gen-i has confirmed that a decision over the future of the Gen-i and Computerland brands is yet to be made.

Donna Fyfe, who is now Gen-i’s head of marketing and strategy, as well as general manager of the services line, says both brands are valuable and will be retained for the time being.

But she says while a decision on the future of the brands is important, the company is focusing on its people first.

“We are concentrating on having the same people dealing with our clients and giving them the same experience. That has been very important,” she says.

“The new sales and support structure we have put in place while we go through the merger reflects the importance we place on our people and clients and making sure we maintain those relationships.”

Fyfe says the Computerland and Gen-i branches will continue to function as they have been while the company decides how best to operate in each centre.

She won’t, however, put a time frame on when the integration will be complete.

“There is a lot of integration activity occurring and it is all progressing at a good click.”

Fyfe confirms that former Computerland CTO Damien Toman now holds this role across the two businesses.


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