KPMG Consulting grabs net integration

Integrating internet systems appears to be a winner for KPMG Consulting: the firm claims its share of the business doubles every year.

Integrating internet systems appears to be a winner for KPMG Consulting: the firm claims its share of the business doubles every year.

KPMG Consulting, which started in New Zealand in 1983, formed its own integration group three years ago. This division now employs 80 of the firm’s 160 New Zealand staff, making it one of the largest systems integrators in the country.

Business last year was tough, with the firm shedding 5% to 10% of its staff, though it is now rebuilding, says chief executive Phil Royal.

Royal says some 90% of the firm’s staff, who are divided evenly between Auckland and Wellington, are IT consultants, though he notes that none can afford not to have a good technical background. “That’s a global phenomena.”

Like CGEY, KPMG claims big-name clients like Telecom and Fonterra and is leading the $13.2 million e-commerce project for Trade New Zealand, whose website showcasing New Zealand firms, matching queries and putting overseas purchasers in touch. The company also led the development of forestry marketplace WoodNet in 2000 and was forming a supplies buying federation with e://volution, though it did not proceed with the projects.

Royal says New Zealand organisations have a strong cost-cutting mentally and there is a strong use of internet technologies to streamline their businesses. Firms are also re-engineering their businesses around ERP systems, while outsourcing, which currently represents 10% of business, is growing too.

“Our own business is more and more a sophisticated online business. Many of our own core business functions are online — learning, performance management, knowledge management, time and expenses. We can show our clients what transformation using the internet entails,” Royal says. He says mobile technologies, once tipped as a huge growth opportunity, are also again starting to pick up, especially in Australia.

Some 20% to 30% of the firm’s integration work is done offshore, particularly in Australia, out of the Auckland office. The company also utilises a big networking and broadband centre in Sydney, developed with Cisco, which has a small shareholding in KPMG Consulting.

The business is split into five industry sectors: public sector, integration services, consumer industrial markets, communications and content, and financial. The operations cover five key areas: strategy and business process, customer management, supply chain, enterprise solutions and managed services.

KPMG Consulting says its staff have an average 13.5 years of work experience, and tend to come from other businesses rather than universities. It does not have partners, but rather five managing directors.

The “key alliance partners” are Microsoft, SAP, PeopleSoft, KPMG, Epiphany, Hyperion, BEA, Vitria and Cisco.

KPMG Consulting in New Zealand also owns Wellington-based The Web, which does much of the firm’s “customer facing” internet integration work (eg

The New Zealand organisation answers to Tokyo, which in turn answers to global headquarters in Washington DC. KPMG Consulting locally is part of KPMG Consulting Inc, which was NASDAQ listed in 2001. There is no formal link with KPMG, so a name change is likely, he says. But the two organisations are key “alliance partners”, says Royal, with KPMG providing shared services.

Royal sees CGEY and PwC as the main opposition offshore, but says the local rivals are mostly PwC and Unisys.

Key customers

  • Telecom
  • NZ Post
  • Trade NZ
  • National Bank
  • BNZ
  • NZ Milk
  • Vodafone
  • TelstraClear
  • Frucor
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Meridian Energy
  • AMP
  • Auckland City Council
  • Wellington City Councikl
  • Fletcher Forests
The management

Global CEO for KPMG Consulting is Rand Blazer, based in Washington DC. The New Zealand chief executive is New Zealander Phil Royal, who returned to the country after two years working on an asset management global rollout for AMP-Henderson in Australia. He has worked in IT for 20 years and previous employers include Shell Oil and Databank.

The New Zealand managing directors are:

Judy Maller - public sector

Chris Day- integration services

Nicholas Birch - consumer industrial markets

Keith Robbins - communications and content

Suri Bartlett - financial services

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