Q: What are the services that you currently enable with AO? How do you plan to add to them?
DS: AO has a very strong offering around converged cloud. You can get IaaS from anywhere. It is cheap as chips. There isn’t much value you can add to it. People can turn it on or off – there is no contract. AO has that.
But the things that really provide value are Wi-Fi as a Service, IP security as a Service, CCTV as a Service – all of those subscription based offerings that resellers can sell and build annuity revenue on without having to make investments in infrastructure.
And they can take that to their customer bases now that they have got it. We are enabling all of these services now.
We are always looking to add on services. One of the things that we are looking at now is Hadoop and being able to provide that as a service. Because our Cloud is very strong we can provide that value additions like business intelligence as a service.
We can always add things. But one thing we make sure of before we add them is that it is right for the resellers, that it can generate good strong profitable annuity from it, that there will be a market for it, and that it is scaleable.
Resellers can manage their own customer service with the cloud offerings, and take it out as their own branded Cloud.
They have reacted to it very well. We have got a set of customers on board. It is a fairly new business but I think the opportunity is huge. Resellers who have partnered with us on it rate it really well.
We are also looking at acquisitions. If the right acquisitions come along in the VAD space, specifically in Australia, we would look at that. We are looking for the right opportunities in both capability and geographic spread.
Q: What are your growth plans in both countries?
DS: In Australia, we are about 50 per cent up on the previous year this fiscal, which is coming off a small base. In NZ we are about 15 per cent up. Our fiscal year is from April to March in both countries. We have a 15 per cent growth target for the 2015 fiscal. We will probably do 10 per cent in NZ and a lot more in Australia.
We are coming off a much smaller base in Australia, so double digit growth over there is a bare minimum. Although the market there is tough both in terms of economic perspective and as a competitive space, because we are coming off a smaller base, because we are always making sure that we have the right people and we are always adding value, I think we are well positioned to shake it up a bit over there.
We will look to double our staff to 20 in Australia and add resellers there. I think we put on 300 or so resellers in the last 12 to 18 months in Australia. It is an ongoing process. Our growth will also come with building on and brining in new vendors.
We are always in discussion with vendors and we are always reaching out to people we want to include in our portfolio.
Specifically for both NZ and Australia we are seriously considering point-of-sales in logistics verticals. That would include the likes of scanning, RFID and data capture. That is a good fit for us.. Also because of our background in cabling and more industrial type products there is a real opportunity in CCTV and surveillance.
We are also looking at acquisitions. If the right acquisitions come along in the VAD space, specifically in Australia, we would look at that.
We are looking for the right opportunities in both capability and geographic spread. The Australian market is virtualisation, networking and wireless predominantly for us. But if there was an opportunity to buy someone in security and telco that could add value. And if they were in Queenland or Western Australia, that would be perfect.
Q: What are the challenges for Connector going forward?
DS: If we weren’t forward thinking as a business and weren’t making sure that we were always in front of the curve, if we just rested on our laurels that would be a real challenge, because you have to be at the front to be at the front. And it is always important to be forward looking.
Distribution, specifically in the commodity space and selling into retail, will become incredibly difficult. Because there is nothing other than warehousing and credit, that those guys can provide. In our view that’s walking into disaster.
So the challenge is making sure that you as a business continue to add value to the customers.