The Kaz Group founder and channel veteran, Peter Kazacos, has launched his new business venture, PK Business Advantage (PKBA).
Kazacos claims there is an opportunity for a services provider to deliver converged IT and telco solutions under a managed services model. The company is targeting its integrated IP data, voice, mobility, hosting and business applications at SMBs and regional areas.
"A lot of companies have just been selling product or phone plans," he said. "The problem with that is customers don't really understand where the benefits of combined IT and communications are."
PKBA has acquired three integrators to boost its geographic reach as well as its technical skill set. They include Microsoft Dynamics partner, Pecol (South Australia); Tasmanian-based IT services provider, Comstra; and Queensland integrator, CWS.
"The way I saw it was that if I acquired companies that already had great customer relationships and provided them with a vehicle to deploy new services, it would be much easier for customers to comprehend the benefits," Kazacos said. "With the Pecol acquisition, we have now developed a national Centre of Excellence for business applications in Adelaide. The company has already doubled in size and will continue to grow as we address needs Australia-wide."
Kazacos said it was also extending the integration capabilities of its other acquisitions nationally. PKBA has offices in six locations and 80 staff nationally. It is planning to launch Centres of Excellence in Northern Queensland and Tasmania.
The company has made several management appointments. Former Servcorp chief technology officer, Steve Lombardo, has joined as technical director. Former Telstra executive, Mark Stead, and Kaz executives, Conrad Hilder and Grant Anderson, have taken on senior management roles.
PKBA has also partnered with several top-tier multinationals including Microsoft, Cisco, Symantec, IBM and HP. On the telecoms front, it has become a Telstra dealer and is in discussions with Soul to access its regional network.
"I've also spent a lot of time looking at Australian software vendors," Kazacos said. "The problem with those guys is that don't have the brand. We are taking these pieces of software and hardware and giving them exposure to our customer set."
Aussie vendors on-board include CRM provider, Brookstone Technologies, and document management creator, Intelledox. Kazacos said it was now looking for more acquisitions to build out its technical capabilities and coverage. He singled out Microsoft CRM and business applications as a key area of focus.
Although focused on direct sales to organisations with over 50 seats, Kazacos was keen to enlist partners to deal with smaller-sized clients.
"There will be an overlap with our direct model. We need to make sure our model correct to provide these services to the reseller community over the next few months," he said. "The dilemma is assuring resellers that we aren't there to tread over their territory."
Kazacos sold The Kaz Group to Telstra in 2004 and finished up at the telco last September.