The Australian division of New Zealand company, Gen-i, is one step closer to its long term goal of becoming an organisation with a full ICT services offering.
The company, which was bought last year by New Zealand Telecom, has attained Microsoft Gold accreditation, nearly a year after the company first set down the yellow brick road.
"Originally we had a niche approach and were focused on Citrix but it is our long term approach to cover all the capabilities we offer in New Zealand," Gen-i Australia, chief executive, Tim Ward, said. "Having achieved what we set out to do on the Citrix front, the next logical thing to do was go Microsoft." A combination of customer demand and desire for expansion also prompted the move, he said.
"Where we were doing Citrix implementations we were also working with various Microsoft infrastructure projects and customers would ask us for help or support in those areas," Ward said. "We also wanted to expand and go into new markets and our choice was to go where our strengths lay and where customers would want to do more business with us."
While the ability may have been there, the company had found to work hard to gain access to projects outside of the Citrix space prior to accreditation, Ward said.
"Microsoft is such a pervasive platform and major organisations have tended to be very risk averse so have gone with well known names," he said. According to Ward hard work was certainly a factor in gaining accreditation, but the merger with Telecom NZ only helped in acting as a beacon to attract the attention of the software giant.
"Microsoft see very clearly that the Telecom acquisition is all about the convergence of IT and communications and that is a particularly important direction for them," he said. "In Gen-i they see a partner which can deliver solutions in that converged space and which is now a serious player in Australia."
The accreditation also tied in well with the company's decision 18 months ago to refocus on its core markets of banking, insurance, retail, state government, Ward said. A branching out into the less obvious transport/logistics and property construction areas had also resulted.
"Banking and insurance are big sectors and are growing but because of that there is a lot of competition," he said. "In transport/logistics and construction we have people within our company who have familiarity and relationships in those sectors so we now understand those areas pretty well and they also serve as a point of differentiation."