Gen-i addresses customer performance warning

Gen-i is denying rumours it is laying off staff, but confirms it received a warning from one major customer for non-performance. Computerworld has been told as many as 50 staff are going from Telecom NZ's IT services unit, a number strongly denied by the company.

Marketing general manager Jo Allison says some people have been redeployed.

“I’m not aware of any being laid off,” she says.

Gen-i media and communications manager Carmela Salisbury says far from the rumoured 50, any redundancies are in “single digits” and are the normal part of any adjustment for a company of 3,300 staff. She says mostly people get redeployed to new roles in the company and that Gen-i’s business is growing.

After Computerworld's print deadline, she said the most she could discover was 13, but it was expected most would be redeployed, either within Gen-i or in the broader Telecom.

A long-time staff member, however, says a number of people have lost their jobs — the source is not one of them.

“They’re very unhappy with the way things were handled.” The staff member alleges those close to their managers are most likely to retain their jobs.

Computerworld was also told that some large customers have complained about non-performance.

Allison confirms that one, Fulton Hogan, had alerted Gen-i six weeks ago about performance issues.

“[Chief executive] Chris Quin met with their executive and they said last week that they were extremely happy with our response,” she says.

Gen-i’s regular monitoring showed no serious service issues with other clients.

Gen-i’s major customer wins over the past two years include the Ministry of Social Development, TVNZ, the Accident Compensation Corporation, and the Justice Department.

Gen-i cut a swathe through the market last year, picking up IT services deals seemingly at will. However, this year it has been tasked by Telecom CEO Paul Reynolds with focusing on profitability.

The company decided not to re-tender for one of its major Australian deals, with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, in July.

“Our strategy for growth in Australia means an investment in our people and capabilities, with a focus on building our core competencies,” said Quin at the time.

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