Firms attach conditions to buying locally

New Zealand companies will only buy local hardware and software if the products come at the right price and offer the right support, a Computerworld spot survey of IT managers suggests.

New Zealand companies will only buy local hardware and software if the products come at the right price and offer the right support, a Computerworld spot survey of IT managers suggests.

At the Computerworld Excellence Awards ceremony in April, Jade Group general manager Owen Scott spoke of the lack of support for New Zealand developers from New Zealand businesses. However, local IT managers Computerworld spoke to suggest they are happy to buy local products - if they are as good as or better than the other products available.

Says AIT IT manager Wendy Busson: "We don't buy a lot of New Zealand products but it's not a set policy, in that we do send any hardware purchases out to tender and see who suits our needs. And we take the ability to provide support into account - but a local office of an international company is as suitable as a local manufacturer."

Software purchases aren't done centrally, and each staff member can buy what they think is suitable, "so they may well buy New Zealand products. We don't tell them what they can buy, we have set standards in terms of what we can support and it's up to them ó if they buy something outside that then they're on their own."

At Air New Zealand, acting CIO Mike Flanigan says most of the airline's equipment ó predominantly Compaq ó is leased and software is either written in-house or bought from specialist airline software developers overseas.

Tip Top Ice Cream IT manager John Paine says he follows a one-brand buying policy for continuity purposes. Desktop and servers come from Compaq and notebooks come from Toshiba. Paine does, however, buy local software when possible, "purely based on getting better support. But I end up with a mixture because some of the local stuff isn't competitive, pricewise, for a company our size."

Compaq is the standard at Sky City Casino for servers and PCs, says MIS manager Gillian Reed. "We've negotiated a discount through Datacom, though we keep an eye on pricing of similar mainstream brands."

On software, Sky City has a licensing agreement with Microsoft for most of its products but will look to local vendors for other applications.

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