Serena signs up with Activate NZ

Activate NZ establishes three relationships in the application-lifecycle management field

US software giant Serena has established a direct relationship in New Zealand with a newly formed company, Activate NZ.

Serena, which specialises in change governance and has a turnover of around US$1 billion (NZ$1.5 billion) a year, was bought last month by equity investor Silver Lake Partners, a private equity investment firm which specialises in IT investment. The vendor has around two dozen customers in New Zealand, serviced out of Australia.

Activate NZ has been set up by Mike Lowe, who recently left SolNet Solutions, after six years with the company, latterly as consulting services manager.

The relationship he has established with Serena is the first of tripartite set of product agencies he is building to service increasing demand in the application-lifecycle management field.

The second is with Agilense, which specialises in enterprise architecture but, says Lowe, with a difference. “Agilense approaches enterprise architecture form the point of view of the business. It has written communication and collaboration tools from the top down to provide very horizontal solutions.”

The third product Activate will represent is in portfolio management. Lowe, who won’t name the vendor until he has concluded the agreement, says it’s about managing a single portfolio.

“New Zealand has smaller companies and a deregulated government and market eco-system that has to work together,” he says. “I looked for vendors to represent to help New Zealand companies work together.

All the products are platform independent and there is a hosted solution.

Lowe points out that several larger New Zealand IT companies have moved out of product into services. “That means they’ve lost a lot of their focus on the product vendors. I believe that if some of the best US technologies had good representation, it would help New Zealand.

“Increasingly, New Zealand businesses are saying that unless product is represented on the ground, they are not prepared to touch it. It’s the same in Australia. And the businesses don’t want to deal just with service desks, often outsourced to India.

“This business should not be about a seagull flying it every three months and dropping something.”

Lowe says he has also been asked by Scott Bernard, of the US-based Association of Enterprise Architects, to set up a chapter in New Zealand.

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