Many resellers might believe new business is acquired by just being in the right place at the right time.
But for Darwin-based systems integrator and reseller Territory Business Solutions (TBS), when opportunity came knocking the deal was far from a lucky break.
When the Government-run Territory Health Services' senior IT project manager, Paul Gooding, wanted a solution to the problem of communicating with health clinics all over the Territory he turned to TBS as a partner he could trust.
"It's been a close business partnership rather than a simple sale," Gooding said.
TBS recently completed a 12-month project to trial, install and begin management of a Territory-wide WAN and LAN system for THS.
Gooding said he was not initially looking at deploying Citrix, but the health service accepted TBS' recommendation.
Community Care Systems
The system uses 12 servers running Citrix MetaFrame and WinFrame software with Windows NT Server 4.0 Terminal Server Edition, around 1200 PCs and NCD Explorer thin-client terminals.
The Community Care Information System (CCIS) runs over the NT Government's own WAN to serve the Territory's public hospitals and around 70 rural and urban health clinics.
The CCIS encompasses all of THS' core computing applications for welfare and community services and links into the public hospital information system.
The health service itself provides health and community services to 180,000 residents across the Northern Territory's urban, rural and remote areas.
Citrix allows an organisation to run software applications from a central server, leaving the client largely free of processing as only keystrokes are transmitted between the host and client machines.
The advantage, as Gooding observes, is that Citrix simplifies network management and software rollouts, overcoming the tyranny of distance between remote sites and the central server in Darwin.
TBS consultant Matt Swanson said the rollout has been "quite successful" despite a few early glitches associated with printing and application sharing.
The main difficulty Swanson experienced was getting Microsoft's Office suite, and Microsoft Access in particular, to run on Citrix. He said the software is not "multi-user" aware, unlike THS' Oracle database that experienced few difficulties coping with the change.
When it comes to looking after new business with THS and others, Swanson indicated TBS will stick to its philosophy of solution first, product second.
"Chris Collins [who is in charge of the THS project] prides himself on providing solutions for people and making sure they get what they want," he said. "We put our bums on the line for this one," he quipped.