IBM-oriented consultancy and reseller Systemethix is delivering scarce engineering nous across a range of domains for customers in Australia and New Zealand.
Co-founded in 2017 by New Zealand-based Marcus König and Australia's Alexis Giral, the founders are on a mission to embed skills learned as part of IBM's elite advanced technology services unit across the business.
"We are not your 'cookie-cutter' business partner," König said. "We do possess an unusual amount of skills."
Such deep expert skills had become quite scarce, creating a gap in the market – and an opportunity for Auckland-based Systemethix – not just in the IBM domain, but in tackling complex problems across industry and technical verticals.
Both a platinum IBM business partner and a gold SUSE partner, Systemethix is building a services and infrastructure business to tackle challenging projects.
Most recently, for instance, the company became the first IBM partner across A/NZ to provide design, deployment and migration services for the latest Power Systems virtual server hosted on IBM cloud. This is part of a family of IBM hybrid cloud systems, including the new IBM Power E1080 server announced last month, that allowed users to extend their on-premise workloads.
Systemethix deployed the first Power Systems virtual server in New Zealand in June at grower and exporter of fresh produce T&G Global, which was faced with migrating a legacy production database in an acquired company to integrate it into its own corporate SAP system.
König said storage, especially IBM storage, was one area of strength but also in the zone was anything around Unix, Linux or PowerServer. Disaster recovery and business continuity were other key areas, but Systemethix' capabilities were broad – the team was even creating its own system management tools.
Two staff in Melbourne mark a further broadening of that technical base, working on wireless and networking technologies.
Another former IBMer, business development consultant Richard Lightfoot, said the outcome was the focus and that was built in partnership with the customer.
“It makes a big difference when trying to put a solution together for a client that you have a breadth of skills but also depth in the things that really matter," Lightfoot said.
"When it comes to your data, it’s being stored on something and it’s being processed by something – those are the things that you really do need to concentrate on."
Security was also fundamental because clients relied on data that simply could not be compromised.
Additionally, new hybrid cloud services are arriving at a critical time for organisations around New Zealand adapting to unpredictable changes in consumer behaviours and needs.
"With COVID-19, you've got to be incredibly resilient," Lightfoot said. "Taking everything we’ve learnt from open source, Linux, IBM and the capability IBM has had for years, we take that depth of experience and knowledge and work with customers to deliver an outcome, whatever the solution might be."
That could be as mundane as reselling some hard drives or a highly complex, full service engagement.
Systemethix, however, does not see itself as delivering skills based on one vendor, König said.
It goes much deeper than that, König said, into complex technical situations dealt with how the team work, what it focuses and computer science and engineering.
At T&G, for instance, buying a "pre-loved" IBM machine was considered, König said, but in the end the cloud option proved far superior and cheaper.
Systemethix sees more opportunities like that with organisations running IBM AIX or Power Systems across A/NZ and facing higher maintenance costs.
It is also targeting SAP and SAP HANA, where König "cut his teeth" in IT. Cloud migration is the objective, using whichever cloud is most appropriate for the client.
Right now, Systemetix is working on a project for a retailer to make its SAP landscape highly available across two sites, using SAP's favoured SUSE technology.
Work is also ongoing to productise Systemethix' large-scale systems management tools which, while still unnamed, are generating interest, especially in Australia.
Lightfoot said among other uses, the tools help to forecast a potential systems outcome for a client, to extrapolate when they will come up against a problem – and when an investment decision will have to be made.