TELECOM’S acquisition of its close rivals Gen-i and Compu-terland is helping Axon move up in the business value stakes of IT services companies in New Zealand.
Axon is now one of the largest independent systems integrators, after Telecom merged Gen-i with its IT services division - Telecom Advanced Solutions - before buying Computerland, and this raised profile is opening doors to customers it did not previously have access to, says general marketing manager Scott Green.
“It has created a great opportunity for us. With a couple of our more direct competitors being turned into what looks more like a multinational, more customers are talking to us about opportunities that they would not previously have. They want to know what a local player can provide,” says Green.
This claim is evidenced by Axon snatching a desktop and server support contract at Air New Zealand from Gen-i last month, which held it for the past seven years.
Green cannot comment on the deal, estimated to be worth around $5 million a year, as contract negotiations are still underway, but says internal improvements at Axon lie behind this win and others yet to be announced.
Last month Axon relocated to a new purpose-built head office in Auckland’s upmarket Newmarket commercial district and completed a multimillion-dollar revamp of its entire systems infrastructure and fully redeveloped its IT contract services offering, Sitecare.
Axon claims Sitecare was instrumental in winning it the Air New Zealand contract, as it brings new clarity and flexibility to outsourced services by solving common outsourcing bugbears.
Green says Sitecare comprises 180 separate services and provides a unique contract service model that enables Axon to rapidly define customer requirements, agree on scope and price, develop transition plans, and subsequently execute the contracted services exactly according to the contract.
“Customers are looking for tremendous flexibility. They have moved beyond the desire to be locked in a three-, four- or five-year structured contract that does not give them the options to easily change their requirements to reflect changes in their business,” he says.
“We are very well poised to compete in a space that historically we may not have been considered for.”
However, with an annual turnover of around $70 million, Axon needs a few more deals to reach the ranks of Gen-i’s $200 million and Computerland’s $150 million.
Computerland marketing manager Michael Friedberg says apart from TelstraClear and Vodafone, the company has not lost any corporate contracts to Axon since Telecom’s acquisition.
“Those two are self explanatory, but I am not aware of any others,” he says, adding that despite being owned by the same group as Gen-i the two companies still compete, while customers still see Computerland as independent from Telecom.
“Computerland is still a standalone company and we go to market as separate brands. We still act independently and that is how customers see us.”