Exclusive Networks, BigTec ramp up under new local boss

Watch out disties – the new country manager for Exclusive Networks New Zealand is fired up, talking tough and ready to take on the market with a reinvigorated Exclusive and its new data centre sister, BigTec.

Alex Teh took on the dual role of Exclusive Networks Pacific New Zealand and Pacific Islands country manager and Big Tec ANZ general manager last month, returning to New Zealand after 16 years in the UK.

After working in New Zealand at Computerland in the early 2000s, Teh set up his own distribution company in the UK, Vigil Software, which he sold to Infinigate in 2012.

A love of New Zealand has pulled him back home and he’s relishing the opportunities presented by Exclusive Networks and BigTec.

Exclusive Networks key pillar is cyber-security with vendors including Fortinet, Kaspersky and Barracuda, BigTec, which launched in ANZ last year, is focused on the data centre transformation business with a stack build around its core offering of Nutanix.

While Exclusive Networks New Zealand operations have been fairly quiet in recent years, globally Exclusive is no small fry. A EUR1.3 billion company it has reach into more than 100 countries. While the company has been aggressively expanding through acquisition, Teh says it is also growing organically at more than 30%.

“We’re not a small organisation. We have nearly 1700 staff globally. And I think that puts us in a very very strong position globally to compete quite aggressively with the likes of Ingram and Westcon.”

Teh is vocal in his view that there’s a gap in the Kiwi market for a distributor that ‘seeks to be a true extension of its partners’ – something he says will be Exclusive’s strength.

“There is a massive space in the market for a distributor to really add value,” he says.

“I’d like to get to a stage where my team is providing technical help to our partners as if we were the vendor.”

Teh says that means Exclusive doing demonstrations, training, proof of concepts and completing RFIs and RFPs on behalf of the vendor ‘as good if not better than the vendors’.

On a sales front, Teh says he wants to make sure Exclusive is helping partners when requested to push the sales process.

“Our knowledge needs to be good enough that we are answering 90% of any reseller enquiries coming into us without going to the vendor for help.

“When we go on site I’m expecting my sales guys to be able to help the partners progress opportunities from quotation to demonstration to proof of concept.

“We’re trying to be a true extension of our partners both on a sales and technical side, being there to help them close deals and not just calling them at the end of the quarter or end of the month for an update on a quote they did three months ago.

“On the operational side, we’re big enough and experienced enough to do it as well as the broadbased distributors, but I want the quality of our sales and technical services to be our major differentiator.”

Teh says he’s eyeing up growth in Exclusive’s local portfolio.

“We currently have a good portfolio of technology, which includes Fortinet, Kaspersky, Barracuda, Tripwire, Blackberry, but I do feel that we have a lot of room for growth in regards to our product portfolio.”

Teh says he expects to confirm new vendors in the next three to six months, extending the portfolio to include a more comprehensive product set to attract new partners, while retaining it’s ‘razor focus’ on cyber security.

“Right now I’m doing some due diligence and having some phone calls and conferences with vendors I think could round off my portfolio, which will essentially mean we are going to be increasing the size of our business because essentially, to cater for new brands coming in we would have to invest.”

Teh is coy on the topic of current local head count, declining to break out the local figures. Across ANZ the company has 80 staff, with New Zealand able to call on the Australian resources as needed.

“I don’t think right now talking about actual headcount sitting in New Zealand is the right positioning for us because we will be building out a lot more headcount in New Zealand as our business grows and demand grows with the new technologies I’m looking to bring on board.

“We are already a full service distributor due to the fact we have extensive resources in the ANZ market.”

The data centre opportunity

On the BigTec front, Teh says New Zealand is ahead of the game in terms of resellers and partners who have invested in providing cloud services.

That’s a market that Teh sees as a big opportunity for BigTec.

“I’m looking at first of all the MSPs,” Teh says when asked about the key opportunities for BigTec.

“There are a lot of resellers who have built cloud services for their customers. That’s a great market.”

He says BigTec is also keen to work with resellers who are already focusing on providing new technologies to customers with data centres.

“We’re building our BigTec team. It isn’t just a branding exercise, we’ve invested in headcount focused 100% on BigTec technologies,” Teh says.

“To become a centre of excellence and the go-to guys for cyber security and data centre transformation is my goal in terms of building this business in the next few years.”