IT WAS celebrations and commemorations at Manukau company Designer Technology Limited (DTL) last month.
The company, which developed Marshal Software and sold it to US-based NetIQ two years ago, became the first company in the Asia-Pacific region to be awarded five Microsoft Gold Partner certifications. The certifications were in the five competencies of Network Infrastructure, Advanced Infrastructure, Business Intelligence, Information Worker Productivity and Integrated e-Business Solutions.
While celebrating its wins, the company also bade farewell to general manager of nearly four years, Jason Westland.
Westland has left the company to focus on his start-up venture, www.method123.com, and will be replaced by Layne Skelton, formerly of EDS New Zealand. Westland’s new business started trading four months ago, selling project management templates online. Westland says the business grew rapidly and splitting his time between the two companies became too demanding.
“I could no longer concentrate on both companies and had to decide on one. I already had seven employees on board with Method 123,” he says.
Westland wrote the project management template methodologies based on his own experience in this field and input from consultants over an 18-month period.
Since the majority of the company’s sales are from abroad, he hopes to move its base to France in February and to open an American office later next year.
DTL first became a Microsoft certified partner in 1998 and achieved its first Gold certification late last year for Integrated e-Business Solutions, which it renewed in the latest round of certifications. It is also an IBM certified partner. As part of the certification process, DTL developed new IT infrastructures based on Microsoft technology for Mainfreight, Pumpkin Patch, Retrovision, Marley and Fast Lender Services.
To earn Microsoft Gold certification status in each competency, DTL had to demonstrate that it understood all the vendor’s products to a high standard and had employees certified in using and installing the products. Its staff completed and passed more than 50 qualifying exams, and worked more than 6,000 qualifying service hours. DTL also had to implement the relevant products and competencies at customer sites and provide 15 customer references from 15 qualifying projects.
This ratification from the customer is as important as the other criteria set out by Microsoft, says Skelton.
“You can complete the projects and have the staff trained up, but the customer has to augment it for you to qualify,” he says.
Skelton plans to build on the momentum of the successful certifications and to keep the Microsoft and IBM certifications firmly intact. “I want to concentrate on the areas we have certifications in and clearly articulate to the market what our core competencies are,” he says.