Hitachi hosts small start-ups

Hitachi Data Systems is helping small New Zealand software companies bring their products to market.

Hitachi Data Systems is helping small New Zealand software companies bring their products to market.

The company is giving developers business advice and introducing them to potential customers by allowing them to sell their products through its Auckland-developed Virtual Data Centre (VDC).

The VDC is a hosting service that uses commodity hardware and software to offer top-level network connection and security services, systems and database management. Based in Takapuna and Auckland's CBD, it works in tandem with HDS’s Alternative Processing Centre, which stores production data.

HDS says it has helped half a dozen firms this way since November 2000. They are often businesses or developers wanting to run a hosting platform and don’t have their own.

“They seem to find us," says HDS NZ general manager Roger Cockayne. "We are not advertising for them. They have good ideas that they are trying to bring to market. It’s an introduction to hosting they can’t normally get."

Cockayne says HDS finds out companies' requirements and gives them a rental "holiday". "If they make a fair return, we want a share of it. They can either pay a hosting fee or split the revenue." He says the service helps HDS to develop its Virtual Data Centre and it helps them to have a platform so they can demonstrate their product to potential customers,” says Cockayne.

"We have also turned them around and said you are not ready for hosting. Or we say you need to talk to this person for this technology and put them in the direction of Sun and Microsoft."

Companies to benefit include Wellington-based web content software company e-cision, formerly called Infinet, advertising company AOS and payroll software developer Tempus Fugit. Point of sale ASP Always There and fleet leasing software Torque on Demand also benefitted from the service.

“Some of our biggest customers started as good ideas,” says Cockayne.

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