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EXCLUSIVE: Aussie ahead? “Evolving” Plan B targets further acquisitions

EXCLUSIVE: Aussie ahead? “Evolving” Plan B targets further acquisitions

New Zealand business continuity specialists Plan B refuses to rest in its quest for market supremacy, insisting that more acquisitions are on the cards as the company targets a potential Australian expansion.

New Zealand business continuity specialists Plan B refuses to rest in its quest for market supremacy, insisting that more acquisitions are on the cards as the company targets a potential Australian expansion.

Speaking to Reseller News following the acquisition of voice, video and data network provider Turnstone Limited, Ian Forrester, Managing Director, Plan B, says the deal widens the company’s services scope as it bids to capture previously untapped market potential.

In securing the expertise of Auckland-based Turnstone, now a division of Plan B, Forrester hopes to replicate the deal in both Wellington and Christchurch, as the business seeks voice, video and data networks across all parts of the country.

“In a perfect world we’d like to acquire a Turnstone equivalent in both Wellington and Christchurch,” says Forrester, who has masterminded the company’s staggering growth over the past few years.

“That would give us a great spread across New Zealand but we’re also under pressure from customers to move into Australia and at present we’re working on a strategy to potentially do that.

“Obviously we are approaching it with serious caution as we’re very cautious that it’s a different market to home, just because they play rugby and cricket doesn’t mean it will be the same.

“But we’re currently exploring our opportunities within this space.”

As part of Plan B’s wider acquisition strategy, Forrester’s main objective is to continue the company’s substantial expansion, evident through its tripling of size in the past two years alone.

“We’re a reasonable size and our aim is to double again and we believe we need a few more acquisitions to achieve that,” he adds.

After inheriting a team of seven, Forrester says the company will no doubt add one of two staff onto the books following the deal, with plans to continue with the Turnstone name in the interim as the business actively seeks further acquisitions.

“At present we’ll continue with the Turnstone name but once we’ve executed a few more acquisitions then we will look at what parts of the business might be better served under a different brand,” Forrester explains.

“When customers think of Plan B they don’t think of the services we currently offer now hence we have to examine the possibility of creating a separate brand.”

Forrester was quick to remind however that the Plan B brand will remain, largely in part due to the company’s longstanding association with backup and business continuity services.

“As we grow our critical mass and add additional companies to the books, we will look to see whether we have either incorporated a brand which best represents this area of the businesses, or whether it’s better to create a new one,” he adds.

Embarking on a new financial year from April 1, Forrester says Plan B is working towards three key areas of focus at present, centred around business continuity, data centre and networking.

“We do all three already but we’re taking them all to the next level,” Forrester adds, alluding to the growth of the company’s infrastructure-as-a-service offerings within its data centres.

“We’ve built some great data centres which are all Top Tier through APC and furthermore, we’re a wholesale partner with all the Tier 1 telcos in New Zealand as well as a number of smaller ones so we’re heading in the right direction.”

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