EXPERT Solution Providers has embarked on one of its largest new ventures since it was founded in 1996.
The company has set up a dedicated consulting arm, while funnelling its other core business streams – security and network implementation – into two other divisions.
Headed by James MacKinnon, ESP consulting will provide auditing and design, project management and business processes advice with IT as a base, while its current security design, consultation and deployment work will be carried out by a specialist team and its e-care group will mainly focus on LAN implementations.
According to managing director John King, the consulting arm was launched to fill in the gaps not being offered by large consulting firms and the company is already offering the service in partnership with KPMG off-shoot Cap Gemini (CGNZ).
King states that the company has been picking up business from Cap Gemini (CGNZ) for some time, but the new internal structure gives direction to this arrangement and will help ESP secure such arrangements with other consulting firms. The integrator is already engaged in talks with one such company.
“These companies do not necessarily have the skills inhouse to provide IT consultation and by working with us they can offer their clients a complete service,” says King.
“This is a massive leap for us – it moves us from the technical to the business world.”
Although chiefly IT-related, ESP’s consulting service also addresses business issues such processes, IT-related policies and project management.
The team is made up of three members who all have extensive experience in IT services, mainly security, and who are familiar with business processes.
The team will be grown as the need arises, says King, but any future members will need to have at least 10 years experience and are most likely to work themselves up from areas in the company.
One of the major services being offered by the team is assisting biotech and pharmaceutical companies that import and export products to obtain US Federal Drug Administration compliance for their systems.
King says this process could take up to two years with regulations that are not clearly defined, which poses enormous challenges.
“They are open to wide interpretation, but we have developed high-end processes that have met these requirements.”
The FDA compliance has only been in force for the three years and King says few consulting firms in New Zealand or Australia offer assistance in achieving compliance. “We saw a niche and are developing it," he adds.