A$200 million Qantas deal clinches Fujitsu centre for NZ

Volatile exchange rate not an issue says Fujitsu's ANZ CEO

A five-year A$200 million deal between Qantas and Fujitsu, signed in April for end user support services, was the clincher that led Fujitsu to build a new global delivery centre in Auckland, says Stuart Stitt, Fujitsu's local managing director.

Fujitsu is providing desktop, file and print, messaging and storage services for over 20,000 desktops and 280 servers for the airline.

Stitt says the Khyber Pass centre, launched today, is one of ten globally that operate around the clock to support regional and global customers.

Among an array of people and organisations Stitt thanked at today's launch was New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, which was "pivotal getting financial assistance to get it over the line", Stitt says.

Fujitsu recruited 60 personnel to staff up its service operations but over 1,000 applicants applied for those jobs, he says.

Rod Vawdrey, CEO of Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand, says Fujitsu looks on its subsidiaries as local organisations, so global strength can be matched with local flexibility and agility.

He says establishing the centre in New Zealand was a big decision and was based on the culture, people, service orientation, multi-language capability and time-zone advantages New Zealand can boast.

Speaking to Computerworld after the launch, Vawdrey says New Zealand's volatile exchange rate has been modeled into the decision and isn't expected to be an issue.

He says the site is paying New Zealanders in New Zealand dollars. Further, the cross-rate with the Australian dollar is much more stable than with other currencies, he says.

"We're not importing. It's not as significant as you might think," he says.

Vawdrey says Fujitsu itself was the centre's first customer, then came Qantas and BOC Gases. Others will come onstream soon.

Stitt credited the government's Jobs Summit as an inspiration for the local Fujitsu team to get the centre established and Prime Minister John Key acknowledged that at today's launch.

Key says unemployment is "miles lower" than earlier forecasts predicted. He says the economy grew in the second quarter and is expected to grow even more strongly in the third.

He also welcomed today's announcement of increased payouts from dairy giant Fonterra.

Fujitsu has also expanded its Wellington service centre operation creating 10 new positions to provide technical support to nearly 2,500 employees at BOC Gases. The BOC service desk has relocated from Sydney to Wellington, becoming fully operational in October.

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