SEC Corpnet snaps up Western Computer business

SEC Corpnet snaps up Western Computer business

Brisbane-based IT services company, SEC Corpnet, has acquired the infrastructure and support services of Western Computer from its administrator, Ferrier Hodgson, for an undisclosed sum.

Western Computer was advertised for sale after being placed in administration earlier this month.

SEC Corpnet general manager, Scott Hartwell, said Western Computer’s manufacturing business had been closed, its training and sales staff had been made redundant, as had four out of the 12 staff employed in Western’s IT services and infrastructure business.

SEC Corpnet was formed in September 2001 from the merger of technology management consultants Strategic Enterprise Computing and IT support business Corpnet Computing Solutions. From a base of six staff, the company has grown to now employ 25 full-time staff and nine contractors.

SEC Corpnet has hired seven technical staff from Western’s services division and has acquired Western’s client database and goodwill (trademarks, web sites, phone numbers). The systems integrator has also formed a partnership with independent warranty services provider, United Electrical, to come up with a rescue packages for customers stranded by Western’s downfall.

Hartwell said Western’s clients will be offered replacement on-site warranties and systems/network support services at “greatly reduced prices.”

The integrator has even offered to honour any hours pre-paid by Western Computer customers prior to its collapse.

“Its all about establishing trust with these customers, some of whom have paid for hours up until December,” he said. “Unfortunately, there have been a few players in the market that have tried to undermine this process by offering deals to customers that already have contractual relationships in place.”

Hartwell said Western Computer, like many of its sunken peers, was ostensibly a good business that was hampered by external issues.

“It is very much a shame that a business that had been around for so long was forced into administration,” he said. “We feel we have come up with a package to help those that were most affected – customers and employees.”

United Electrical Queensland manager, Don Card, blames the Queensland Government and its recent tendency to award contract to large international businesses over resellers such as Western Computer.

“As the Government sources more and more of their IT equipment from outside the State, the harder and harder it is for local IT businesses here to survive,” he said. “These large contracts provided a high trickle-down effect that helped support many local and regional businesses.

"We have many sizeable IT businesses right here providing very cost-effective, high quality services and equipment who should be supported by this Government.

"Recent decisions to use Dell and similar companies with insignificant local infrastructure, and no local or regional IT services for large Government contracts makes a nonsense of the Government’s claims to support and encourage the local IT industry.

"It makes you wonder how smart the smart state is.”

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