SHOWING a never-say-die resilience both The PC Company name and the former head of the ill-fated PC assembler, Colin Brown, are back in business.
A new Whakatane-based reseller is taking on the image of Brown’s former company, but with a slight difference — the registered name of the new company is The PC Company (2004) Ltd, as opposed to The PC Company Ltd, the name of Brown’s company that is currently in receivership.
Brown does not own a stake in the new business, but is not entirely out of the picture as The PC Company (2004) Ltd will sell machines built by Whitebox Express, the PC assembly arm of Pegasus Electronics, owned by Brown and wife Keryn.
According to Philip Whitaker, sales manager of The PC Company (2004) Ltd, the machines will carry the same badging as Brown’s former company, as the new firm aims to recreate the marketing model of the original company, but on a smaller scale focusing on the Bay of Plenty region.
Brown salvaged The PC Company brand when he bought a number of the company’s assets including stock, the web domain name and the customer database, from the receiver.
But Brown states that he has no intention of starting The PC Company again and says his activities will be limited to the assembly arena and will not extend to the retail sector again.
He is also set to launch a new business venture promoting a web-based email service dubbed Customail, which he developed with his son Adam.
This venture falls under a new company, Customers.co.nz Ltd, which he has founded since the demise of The PC Company.
The company was originally registered in November last year as My PC Ltd, but the name was changed in May this year.
Meanwhile Brown maintains that the club of former PC Company customers which he recently touted is not intended as a business venture.
Its purpose, Brown says, is to provide customer support by putting them in contact with each other and resellers.
However, in an email to former clients in which he proposes the formation of the club, Brown offers to sell them low-priced consumables and provides links to pages on the Pegasus website where PC services and former PC Company stock are offered for sale.
Standing by earlier statements in Reseller News’ sister publication Computerworld and the New Zealand Herald, Brown says while some business may be generated through the club, its main purpose is to link former customers with resellers that can support them. “We will sell some things to [former customers], but our aim is to help them and by hypothetically offering them low-cost consumables that is helping them — it is certainly not a business in itself,” he says.
Brown states he is focusing his attention on Customail, which aims to sell to small businesses as a cost-effective tool for them to communicate with their customers and may eventually sell through a reseller channel.