Polaris, an Australian distributor of audio, video conferencing and call centre technologies, has launched into New Zealand after a strategic hire.
Matthew Borchert will lead Polaris' market entry as New Zealand director of strategic sales and partnerships.
Polaris managing director and founder Wayne Guest said the Melbourne-based business began life as a distributor, bringing audio and unified communications equipment company Plantronics into Australia in the 1990s.
The company also rode the call centre boom of that time also selling directly into the enterprise market.
Guest felt there was an opportunity in acoustic safety, defending call centre workers against acoustic shock injury, investing heavily to develop its own technology to solve that problem, released as Soundshield in 2002.
"It was a massive hit," Guest told Reseller News. "Telstra was our biggest customer. All their call centres are exclusively with Soundshield."
Audio processing and acoustic safety became Polaris' area of specialisation beside its other businesses as a distributor and reseller, with Soundshield now integrated with some call centre products such as headsets, while also being resold by channel partners.
Polaris is also Australia's largest distributor of Jabra headsets products and will be a reseller in New Zealand.
As country manager, Guest said Borchert is charged with deciding who to work with as resellers, building relationships and making further hires.
Given Polaris' strength with Australian telcos Borchert will also be engaging with the likes of Spark on this side of the ditch.
"We don't offer low price, box off the shelf," Guest added. "We are more of a value-added distributor. When it comes to working with resellers we like to truly partner with them. We'll go out and deal with their customers directly if they would like us to."
Polaris already has customers here in the form of Australian clients that operate on both sides of the Tasman such as banks, Guest added.
Borchert was with Jabra for four years in New Zealand and knows the local scene and resellers well, starting in IT in the early 90s with Wang, while working for either vendors or resellers such as Xerox and HP and also with distribution major Ingram Micro.
"What attracted me to Polaris was their links to end customers and their links to resellers as well," Borchert told Reseller News. "I think that's where my strengths are."
According to Borchert, the acoustic shock prevention market in New Zealand is "absolutely a greenfields opportunity" because most people don't know about it.
"I like the Polaris brand here because it's a blank canvas," he added. "We have a great relationship with Jabra, the number two headset brand in the world and number one in Bluetooth and wireless globally.
"They have a great brand and a great presence here in New Zealand. I helped to build that presence in the four years I was with them. We'll be a reseller in New Zealand, but we will very quickly become their number one reseller."
Polaris also represents Dolby and BlueJeans video conferencing systems.
Borchert is excited about the opportunity of launching Dolby's new "spatial" collaboration and conferencing technologies into New Zealand.
"What they are doing in the conferencing space is revolutionary," he added.