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Exclusive: From schools to aged care, Connector Systems eyes new opportunities

01 Aug 2016

Connector Systems, now part of Ingram Micro, has begun aggressively targeting what it believes is an untapped – and rapidly growing – market for Kiwi resellers: Aged care facilities.

Mark Dasent, Connector Systems general manager, says aged care is a ‘a very big area’ for resellers, which hasn’t yet been properly addressed.

He says Connector Systems, and its resellers, are ideally placed to capitalise on the growing market opportunity, with many of the lessons learned in the education market able to transfer to the aged care market. The distributor had a strong education play for 10 years, providing schools around New Zealand with cabling, networking and wireless.

“We’ve been doing that for 10 years and we’re now at the twilight end of that project, but we see the same opportunities existing in the aged care market,” Dasent says.

“You have loads and loads of new aged care facilities being built because of the aging population, and you’ve got people going into those homes who are internet savvy and wanting to keep in touch with their families and friends and therefore needing good internet access, be it through ethernet, fibre or wireless.”

Dasent says many of the facilities haven’t got good IT systems in place.

“It’s a good opportunity to get in there. There are so many new facilities being built as well, you can get in there on the ground floor and provide this access for the aging population.

“If we get it right we’re talking cabling, networking, wireless, voice, all the types of IT services and then it needs the reseller to manage it, integrate it and look after it.”

The distributor has recently completed a reference site in Hawkes Bay where, in a reseller-led project, Omaru IT worked with Connector Systems to provide a solution encompassing multiple Connector brands, including Ruckus Wireless, Brocade, Yealink, Molex, Calix and Initially begun as a project to provide a solution to access problems, Dasent says it ultimately included wireless, voice, phones, endpoints, a network upgrade, cabling and fibre access technology.

“It’s been a very good deal for us and our reseller, Omaru IT,” Dasent says.

“It was significant, it was a good sized deal,” he says of the value of the Hawkes Bay deal. “By our standards it was a good deal.

“And what I liked about it more was a reseller engaged with us and we helped build that solution. I like that aspect that we’re not just flogging a box here, we’re actually building a solution, we’re helping a reseller with the integration and implementation of it.”

Dasent says Connector Systems is keen to talking with resellers about partnering to target the market.

“We’re looking to replicate that [project] and we’ve already got a number of discussions underway.”

A June aged care event has seen ‘a lot’ of new opportunities surface for Connector Systems, Dasent says.

Dasent says Connector Systems won’t be specifically targeting the largest aged care providers, who are already being managed by large system integrators – and for whom Connector Systems already provide some product.

“That’s a big part of our current business. But if you look, there are hundreds of these providers around the country, literally hundreds that vary not only in size but also in their IT infrastructure, from having nothing to having a little bit here and there.

“We see it as a good target.”

Dasent says some of Ingram Micro’s product set also has a strong potential play for the aged care market.

“So I’m looking at what else can we be selling in there. We’re doing the infrastructure, but we’re also looking at what else we can be doing from a Connector/Ingram connection.

“It’s going to get more and more advanced. As technology savvy people get in there they are going to want all this stuff.”

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