Commander backs Ipex

Commander backs Ipex

Commander has confirmed it will continue to back local whitebox builder, Ipex, following its acquisition of the company's parent, Volante.

The industry has been debating whether the whitebox business would be retained, sold, or closed as a result of the deal. Commander's partnerships with multinational PC vendors including HP and Acer have been cited as a potential cause of conflict.

But speaking to ARN last week, Commander general manager of strategy and development, Steve Evans, was adamant it would continue to support Ipex.

"Ipex has such a huge install base it's not easy to just close it," he said. "I have been amazed at how it stacks up. For those organisations that want a standard operating environment for 3-5 years, it's a good proposition.

"There's no doubt we will continue to provide Ipex. The name will live on."

Evans would not be drawn on whether Commander would retain ownership.

Following its acquisition of Volante in April, Commander is currently conducting a three-month review of the business. The two sales organisations are still selling under separate brands. The exception was managed services, which had been bundled together.

"There is still some competition between the two sides in the marketplace but we've tried to go with the better competitor in each case. There's not a lot of overlap," Evans said.

Commander is now in the final stages of drawing up a business model for the combined entity. Evans said the sales teams would be integrated under the company's new structure, which is due to be announced next month.

"We expect the products will become Commander and the Volante brand will represent services for a while," he said. "Our products business was bigger than Volante's but its services were larger and more mature.

"Volante also had some good [customer] wins, particularly with the Group 8 and South Australian government contracts. We want to preserve that."

Evans predicted the integration would not result in heavy staff cuts. Commander currently has 1500 employees, while Volante retains 800. He estimated combined revenues at $1.1 billion. "There will be some reduction in areas such as back-end functions. But all sales, technology and services staff are expected to remain," Evans said. "What could have been a reduction in staff will be absorbed by our growth strategy."

Commander would continue to consider acquisitions in and beyond its four pillars of network carriage, products, managed services and professional services, he said.

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