Services leap forward for ASI Solutions

Services leap forward for ASI Solutions

A dramatic retooling of its business model has been paying off for ASI Solutions, which has hired 15 staff over the last six months.

ASI’s complement of services staff has grown to 80 over the past six months, and nearly half of its business is now derived from services. But the system builder had no intention of leaving behind its traditional componentry and desktop business, company director, Maree Lowe, said.

“We’re not trying to get out of PCs or servers," Lowe said. "Three years ago we probably thought we’d go to just services. But clients want both.”

With services now representing 47 per cent of ASI’s business, it had been a dramatic turnaround, Lowe said. “Four years ago it was probably 4 or 5 per cent.”

Formerly distributor Annabelle Bits, ASI Solutions now sees only 5-8 per cent of its business from distribution, with the rest split fairly evenly between government and defense, education and corporate system building sales.

While seeking to grow its services business, ASI was also seeking to expand its horizons into the whitebox notebook and server market, as well as tackling the SMB customer space, Lowe said.

This year has seen ASI make a play for the burgeoning laptop market, launching a line of Centrino-based models in March.

ASI product manager, Craig Quinn, said the system builder had made “various forays” into notebooks but had decided to return on the back of Intel’s wireless push with Centrino.

Laptops were taking off in both corporate and government customers, Lowe said. 2003 was the first year in which laptops were superceding desktops.

Education was becoming a big potential customer base, she said. “There’s a significant move in education clients saying we don’t need any more desktops – we’ll take notebooks. This is a big change to where we were several years ago.”

ASI was considering future directions for laptops including a sub-$2K model and a desktop replacement model, Quinn said.

The company expected to have a sub-2kg laptop available by the end of the year, he said.

ASI is also looking to expand its reach into the retail channel for the SMB business, taking on retailers like Harvey Norman and Harris Technology.

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