RIP Computerland

A well-known brand is set to disappear after 20 years

The news that the Computerland brand is to disappear from the New Zealand IT scene, where it has been a presence for more than 20 years, wasn't totally unexpected by the local IT community.

After all, when Telecom bought Computerland almost exactly a year ago, it said it would leave Computerland running as it was for a year before making any major changes.

Also, the sales and procurement functions of Computerland and Gen-i have were recently merged, an indication that brand integration would be the next step.

The eventual removal of the Computerland name (Telecom says it will be around for a while yet) is arguably just a cosmetic move, as the nine nationwide Computerland franchises will retain the same ownership structure under the Gen-i banner.

Nonetheless, many past and present Computerland customers will be sad to see the venerable name go, while at the same time understanding Telecom's desire to streamline the marketing of its two IT businesses.

In the two decades Computerland has been operating, the IT industry has changed almost beyond recognition. It is of course partly due to one of those changes — the convergence of telecommunications and IT, making systems integrators an attractive acquisition target for telcos — that the Computerland name is to disappear.

Convergence seems to be the word of the moment — Gen-i and Computerland GM Chris Quin, who has talked much about convergence in the sense of voice, data and video being delivered over the same pipe, used the same term in the media release distributed last week announcing the end of the Computerland brand.

"Both the Gen-i and Computerland brands are highly valued and respected by our people and clients, but overriding that is the power of convergence," Quin is quoted as saying.

"We can deliver that more effectively as one brand."

While many in the industry will be disappointed to see the Computerland brand go, there is one silver lining — confusion between Computerland and the publication you are now reading will be eliminated.

The number of times Computerland and Computerworld have been mixed up by speakers and writers is beyond count and when the names are so similar, it's not hard to say one when you mean the other.

Telecom's acquisition of Gen-i, then Computerland, last year created a flurry of rumour and speculation in the industry and right now, there is still some gossip doing the rounds regarding staffing and other aspects.

While the announcement of Computerland's brand death is a big piece of the unfolding saga, there's more to come and what further moves Telecom makes with its IT businesses will be interesting to observe.

Watson is a Computerworld reporter

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags management

More about Computerland

Show Comments