When the Tertiary Education Commission planned to migrate its legacy Unix applications to Windows, it decided to augment its resources rather than employ another full-time staff member.
And rather than turning to its major suppliers, Fujitsu and Intergen, it went to a much smaller organisation for the resource.
“Our Unix employee had just left and we couldn’t really justify another full-timer,” says TEC IT service delivery manager Shane Gaskin.
“We’d closed all our regional locations, other than the Auckland service centre where we’d boosted the staff to 50. We needed to migrate our design and project management application.”
The TEC had an earlier relationship with RHE Infrastructure Services, which was contracted to provide the Unix resource.
Gaskin says he’s found it better dealing with smaller organisations. “They’re a lot more flexible and agile, and RHE understood the TEC. Cost wasn’t the major driver. Essentially, we’re working in a blended mode with our suppliers.”
The Tertiary Education Commission employs 220 staff, 35 of whom are in IT. It handles a budget of $4 billion annually, delivered to 700 tertiary organisations.
Gaskin says the TEC is next moving to electronic receipting of useful tertiary information. “We’ve also got a number of key portfolios around enhancing our infrastructure, storage and networking and virtualisation.
Al Moore, who spearheaded the management buyout, is now chief executive of both companies, while Sean Wilson, who established Codec, continues as a director.
“There’s increasing pressure on the IT sector to provide more for less,” says Moore. “We’re seeing increasing opportunities in providing comprehensive IT services for small and medium enterprises and in providing specialised infrastructure services to larger corporates and to IT companies.
“We’re now providing these services to many larger IT organisations and outsourcers. There are better economies of scale in one company deeply specialising and working closely with partners than in everyone trying to do it.”