Reseller News

Assurity Consulting picks up a timely win at Stats NZ

Assurity Consulting had been winning lucrative gigs at Inland Revenue, but that activity is tracking down.
  • Rob O'Neill (New Zealand Reseller News)
  • 26 August, 2021 12:15
Garth Hamilton (Assurity Consulting)

Garth Hamilton (Assurity Consulting)

Assurity Consulting may be seeing revenue from major client Inland Revenue tailing off, but a major new win is already helping the company to adjust.

The software testing and quality assurance outfit is the winner of a competitive tender to provide services to Stats NZ -- Tatauranga Aotearoa. 

Assurity, which has three offices and around 250 staff, will now play a key role in eliminating any software, systems or process issues ahead of the 2023 census, the official count of population and dwellings in New Zealand conducted every five years.

Changes at Inland Revenue had also helped ease the transition.

"Last year as a result of COVID-19, Inland Revenue took the decision to spread the last business transformation release over a longer period of time which meant we reduced our team," Assurity CEO Garth Hamilton told Reseller News.

"Though this reduced our revenue run-rate from Inland Revenue, the positive news is we won the Stats NZ project at the same time."

Assurity won a $17.4 million contract from IRD in the 2021 financial year following three contracts valued at $21 million in 2020.

Hamilton did not expect a big revenue impact when the last of the tax office's business transformation releases goes live in October because Assurity still has an on-going contract there to provide managed services to maintain Inland Revenue's new applications.

Assurity also released a new business strategy in November 2020 which broadened the range of services it offered to help assure the success of their digital projects.  

These new areas, such as robotic process automation and process optimisation, had been experiencing strong growth, Hamilton said.

The new gig at Stats NZ will also see Assurity providing services beyond its core technology space.

The company was selected to support the development of a census programme strategy covering testing of IT systems and processes as well as non-IT testing of business processes and field operations.

“Assurity was selected based on our proven experience delivering large complex projects with innovative approaches to non-traditional test activities, such as customer interaction testing at Inland Revenue," Hamilton said.

"Our test experience and innovation has given Stats NZ full confidence in our ability to execute non-IT testing, while we offer a long track record of success in the more traditional IT testing space."

Assurity's proposed approach pulled together its expertise across test strategy and management, test automation and techniques from its business analysis, Agile, DevOps and design thinking services for IT and non-IT testing.

Finally, Assurity proposed cross-branch delivery of its test strategy. 

“This aligns well with the nationwide structure necessary in Stats NZ’s delivery of Census 2023," Hamilton said.

The current skills shortage was a significant headwind, however..

"With the borders closed all NZ consultancies are experiencing challenges hiring new staff, as are we," Hamilton said. "This will mean our growth over the next two years will be impacted."  

Assurity has had a graduate and FreshStart programme running for 15 years, however, which this year delivered an intake of 15 graduates and experienced workers, of "FreshStarters", looking for an opportunity to enter the IT industry. 

"These programs help grow the NZ IT community but we would prefer to see proactive action from the government on allowing experienced IT consultants into NZ as research states that for every one IT job we create there is a downstream benefit of five new jobs created elsewhere in the economy," Hamilton said.