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NextGen focuses on IP, readying NZ for new branded services

NextGen focuses on IP, readying NZ for new branded services

Despite COVID-19, NextGen founder John Walters says NZ revenue is still on track for $30 million

Lynne Jeffery (NextGen)

Lynne Jeffery (NextGen)

Credit: Supplied

Enterprise software and cloud distributor NextGen is focusing on building local momentum with new hires and new value-added services based around unique IP.

New NextGen NZ managing director Lynne Jeffery, formerly of NEC, was hired in March but only joined the company on 1 June, replacing the long-serving co-founder of the New Zealand business, Terry Dunn.

She is currently familiarising herself with the company, its vendors -- including cornerstones Oracle and Commvault -- partners and the marketplace.

Like most of NextGen's staff Jeffery had no experience in distribution, and that is just fine with company founder and CEO John Walters.

Her history and experience in vendor-land and partner-land is exactly what Walters wanted: someone from a solutions background.

"We are not trying to move the deckchairs," he told Reseller News last month. "We are trying to do something different."

Jeffery is backed by David Long, formerly of cloud backup and recovery vendor Rubrik, in the company's leadership team as sales director. He returned to NZ from Australia earlier this year.

Walters indicated in an Australian interview last year that the New Zealand business was tracking at around $30 million in revenue. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it still is, he said.

Acknowledging the work Long had done, he said NextGen NZ would still get very close to that number.

As for Jeffery, her month or so of experience in distribution so far had "filled a lot of gaps".

"It's great to see how everything hangs together, from vendors to partners and to end users," she said.

It's a telling quote given that under traditional models, distributors are supposed to have very little to do with the end customer.

NextGen's model, which it has called "mesh distribution" and "next generation distribution", has developed some serious branded service extensions in Australia that are poised to be deployed into New Zealand "at the appropriate time", Walters said.

Bang is a digital marketing and brand agency which finds warm leads to take back to partners as well as making best use of vendor marketing development funding.

It is relatively new in New Zealand but has three engagements under way, one with a vendor and one with a partner and one not yet announced.

Orbus Capital delivers finance options for hardware and software to fund the channel while Optima delivers software advisory services. there is also a cloud centre of excellence and a cyberlab on the same model.

In short, more and more NextGen is touching the end customer and developing relationships with them always alongside a partner. It never sells direct, said Walters.

"The distribution model is no longer linear from traditional vendor through distributor to reseller to end customer," Jeffery explained. 

"I think what people like myself and Dave will bring to the business, will enable to engage the right vendor technology with the most relevant partners and customers using our relationships and expertise across the markets."

That will include establishing relationships with end customers to put the customer at the centre of everything NextGen does and ensure the right outcomes for them.

Long said from NextGen's engagements there is continued buoyancy in government project work and the first half of the 2021 financial year was looking strong.

In enterprise and partner parts of the market, it depended on the vertical and the line of business, with health, utilities and digital media, for instance still going well. Others had, however, "gone quiet".

Jeffery said the cybersecurity vertical, driven by ransomeware and cyber attacks, and the cloud and multicloud vertical were especially strong.

"That obviously aligns nicely with our software licensing and cloud economics organisation, Optima," she said. "We can provide consulting and advisory services to organisations that are considering moving."

Long said a number of the cybersecurity vendors NextGen represented were still pre-IPO and without representation in New Zealand. NextGen was investing in certifications and the personnel here to make representations and drive opportunities for those vendors.

Read more on the next page...


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