In only its second year in partnership with Hewlett-Packard, Brisbane-based Netwise Australia has won the vendor's excellence award as a business solutions centre (ARN, March 3, p4).
The award was presented to general manager Michael Cooke and sales manager Nick Day.
Since 1995, Netwise has been focused on network integration for the small-to-medium enterprise market - 50 to 250 users - yet the company and its principals came from a background of large network design and implementation. It means they approach a project with a different perspective to resellers that have moved into integration from hardware supply.
According to Cooke: "SME customers are looking for people who can get into and understand their business. It might be a six-month sales cycle to put forward a solution that really fits them, so the key to the process is our staff." Netwise has a staff of 10, and so far no one has left the company.
"We invest a lot of money and time in accreditation, putting people through appropriate training courses, but our staff are first and foremost personable, and can get on with people on the customer site at any level," he said. "The other factor is that we are very keen on standardisation in networks, such that every network we put in is 95 per cent the same, with 5 per cent variation that allows for the specific software being used. This also means that, while we generally have the same engineer looking after the client, if this is not possible, there are no surprises for somebody else."
Both of the company directors emphasised their commitment to service. "We believe that we make not only our clients, but also Hewlett-Packard and our software partners, feel comfortable in dealing with us because we respond quickly and thoroughly to requests for information," Day said.
He explained that a lot of the business is initiated through partnering with software providers. "We're always looking for opportunities with software partners, and by word of mouth, some have come knocking on our door with network integration opportunities," he said.
"Once we have established partnerships with companies that have the same attitude to service as us, we see it as a long-term relationship."
And the Netwise customer base is certainly diverse. Among the software partners they list are specialists in the printing and construction industries, document management and a local accounting software house.
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