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Gen-i plants roots in Australia

Gen-i plants roots in Australia

IT veteran Tim Ward will take the helm of the Australian arm of New Zealand-based IT service provider Gen-i. In his role as Australian CEO, Ward will steer operations in Sydney and Melbourne. And while the Auckland-based company - which has 50 customers and an estimated excess of $150 million this calendar year - has dipped its toe into the Australian market periodically over the last three years, it hasn't been a strong focus area, Ward said.

"The company is a major tier-two services provider in the IT sector in New Zealand, but it's almost unknown here in Australia," he said.

Ward saw a huge market opportunity within the top Australian 1000 companies.

"There seems to be a growing vacuum in Australia," he said.

The company planned to capture what he considered a neglected segment of the high-end market - an area that's slightly below where tier-two competitors such as Volante and Kaz live and breath.

"They go after the top echelon space," Ward said.

But the company wasn't closing any doors - it would also cater to the SMB space if there was market demand, he said.

Ward, who held positions with IBM, Hitachi Data Systems, Digital Equipment and the Australian public service and has considerable experience in server-based computing and business development, plans to uncover the market opportunities on Australian shores, modelling the business after the New Zealand entity.

Traditionally, the company offers managed services, selective outsourcing, business solutions, procurement and server-based computing. Ward said the company would rev up the Australian market in the area of technical consulting in the system integration space, addressing a range of issues relevant to CIOs including desktop/laptop client computing needs, skyrocketing licensing costs for PCs, hardware and software upgrades, and capacity concerns.

"We help clients address cost redution; improve time-to-market and avoid risk," he said.

Today's complex network infrastructure required close scrutiny and support, Ward said.

The company, which works through Alstom IT and Tech Pacific, will offer a range of technology including thin client computing (via Citrix and Wyse), along with Microsoft Windows 2003 Active Directory, and open source alternatives including Linux and other emerging technologies.


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