Former Toll NZ group general manager of IT Garry Collings has jumped the fence and gone to work for a vendor.
Collings started as general manager of Network Appliance on October 3 and his appointment boosts the storage vendor’s staff headcount in New Zealand from one to two. The only full time staffer NetApp had before Collings joined was pre-sales support engineer Grant Woodbury, who will move to Australia in the new year.
Collings, who left Toll in January, says the NetApp job appealed to him because he wasn’t seeking another CIO-type role after four and a half years at Toll and, before that, five as CIO of Mainfreight.
“I was looking for a general manager role, either in logistics or IT and the NetApp one excited me, as it’s an impressive product and is experiencing huge growth — everyone needs more storage.”
NetApp gear is sold in New Zealand through partner Infinity Solutions, which has seven sales and four technical support staff dedicated to NetApp and similar products.
NetApp is the biggest selling product in that division of Infinity, Collings says.
As to whether NetApp will hire any more of its own staff in New Zealand, Collings says there will be a review next year to determine the vendor’s personnel needs.
NetApp’s New Zealand customers include Weta Digital and Air New Zealand.
Collings has previous sales experience, with UK voice-over-data provider Alpha Networks in the early 1990s, has an MBA from Waikato University and was CIO of the year at last year's Computerworld Excellence Awards.
He says NetApp decided to appoint a New Zealand GM after realising that effectively running the local operation from Australia “was no longer practical.”
NetApp first established a New Zealand presence in 2000 when Dave Adams established an office.
However, whether it was ever an office became a matter of controversy the following year, when Adams and Infinity’s other then-NZ staffer were made redundant.
A media release from then-Australia and New Zealand NetApp managing director Michael Burnie read “we never had an office in this country so there wasn’t one to close. We did have a channel sales representative for a while, but given Infinity’s continuing success on our behalf, the position couldn’t any longer be justified.”