Platinum customers voice few concerns over loss of local rep

Platinum Software customers appear unconcerned over the closure of the company's New Zealand office. There are about 40 sites in New Zealand using Platinum's financial software. Stephen Sims, Platinum regional director for Australia/New Zealand, says the office is not closed - he says the company is continuing to take office space in Auckland - but confirms that Grant Hanna, the sole Platinum software representative, was made redundant three weeks ago. Customers who call the Auckland number are connected to the Sydney office.

Platinum Software customers appear unconcerned over the closure of the company’s New Zealand office. There are about 40 sites in New Zealand using Platinum’s financial software.

Stephen Sims, Platinum regional director for Australia/New Zealand, says the office is not closed — he says the company is continuing to take office space in Auckland — but confirms that Grant Hanna, the sole Platinum software representative, was made redundant three weeks ago. Customers who call the Auckland number are connected to the Sydney office.

“It’s no reflection on him, he was doing a good job,” says Sims. “Our reason for making Grant Hanna redundant was that we have very strong distributors [Eagle Technology and Datacom] and resellers in New Zealand. There was really no need for someone to be there from Platinum. “The distributors provide sales and front-line support while marketing and sales is co-ordinated out of Sydney. There was an overlap in what was being done by our salesperson on the ground and the distributors and resellers.”

Users appear to be taking the move in their stride. ASB Bank IT director Garry Fissenden says the local office had really only been a sales office for a number of years.

“We’ve always had support out of Australia and the US and that will continue. It makes very little difference to us.”

Universal Business Directories (UBD) IS manager Carol Silva says Platinum’s New Zealand office had been largely closed for more than a year anyway.

“They’d only had one representative in New Zealand for quite a while and we have been dealing with the Australian office for support for the last year. Platinum has worked very well with me. It’s a little bit inconvenient to have support which does not have the same office hours but they have been very responsive.”

Silva’s only concern was that Platinum would cease pursuing sales in New Zealand.

“The user group in New Zealand is one of the biggest and most innovative in the world. A lot of the things that we ask for are implemented in the software.”

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