Consulting with a difference to take on North Island

Clarus has a list of around 100 contractors, who have all been invited to become members

Christchurch-based Clarus is doing IT consulting in a different way, the company says, providing clients with specialists at contracting — rather than consulting — fees and at the same time offering its contractors an attractive deal.

Clarus, established in 2006, has a list of around 100 contractors, who have all been invited to become members. All contractors have been recommended by a client or other contractor, says Clarus managing director Edwin Dando.

“The consultant gets the training, finance and community support as part of their Clarus membership, while the client gets the benefit of reliable expertise, senior IT consulting and project management,” says Dando.

The contractors set their own rates, and Clarus adds a commission.

This approach has proved lucrative; the company has had a 400% revenue growth in the last year, according to Dando.

The company is now looking to expand the business to the North Island, starting in Wellington.

Clarus has also recently appointed Susan Basterfield as general manager in Christchurch. Basterfield, originally from the US, has a long career in ICT behind her, most recently as client manager and enterprise solutions specialist at Gen-i. Her career started at the age of 21, when she won the title of IBM’s top channel sales person in the US.

In 1995, she relocated to the UK and joined Tektronix as territory manager for London, and later as sales and channel development manager for Tektronix in Northern Europe. After briefly going back to IBM as Northern European channel manager, Basterfield moved on to head business development of Vistorm (now owned by EDS) in Manchester, and helped the business grow from 42 to 312 staff.

Basterfield and her husband moved to New Zealand in 2003 to manage personal friend AJ Hackett’s international operations.

Dando calls Basterfield a “high calibre” manager who also understands the importance of work-life balance, something that is close to the heart of the company, he says.

Clarus’ clients include Meridian Energy, PGG Wrightson, Mike Pero Mortgages, Fulton Hogan, AMI Insurance, Jade, Axon, Argos and Statistics NZ.

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