When it went looking for an IT solutions provider last year, timber company Carter Holt Harvey spied a gap in the market — which it has jumped to fill.
It has set up Oxygen Business Solutions, a CHH-owned company that aims to be among the top business solutions providers in the Asia-Pacific region in 10 years.
Former CHH IT head Jeremy Fleming heads the operation, which employs 160 staff in Auckland, 20 in the Bay of Plenty and 40 in Melbourne.
“We were looking at whether we should outsource our IT operations and in doing so, it became obvious there were opportunities in New Zealand and Australia for us to create a business in our own right.”
Prior to its establishment in April, Oxygen was CHH’s shared services team. It now operates as a business unit within CHH offering business processing services, ERP consulting, applications hosting and training services to organisations outside the company. Through CHH’s internal use of SAP it has built up experience in the ERP system, providing SAP access to 3200 CHH users. Fleming says the company rents data centre space from Datacom and has a secondary data centre at CCH premises in Onehunga.
He says Oxygen competes at different levels with other IT infrastructure providers, such as Unisys and EDS, and providers of business services such as accounts payable and accounts receivable.
As well as a five-year contract to supply core IT and business processing services to CHH, Oxygen has three external customers. It provides SAP consulting plus infrastructure and WAN support to plastics manufacturing company Vertex Pacific, which has sites in Auckland, Hamilton, Hastings and Lower Hutt. Another SAP consulting customer is New York-based International Paper. Oxygen also provides infrastructure support and professional services to Packaging House, a distribution company with 10 sites spread around New Zealand.
Oxygen offers business services such as accounts and payroll, help desk/support centre and on-site engineering, vendor management, desktop/laptop connectivity, infrastructure and network provision and management, SAP hosting and support, and hosting of human resource management applications CHRIS and data warehousing system Essbase.
It is 100% owned by CHH but that may change in two or three years, says Fleming.
Last year, former members of Zespri International’s SAP development team left the company to form SAP consultancy Design Build Systems. The Drury-based company aims to help SAP customers utilise the untapped value they have in their ERP systems.