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New offering and new owner for Simms

01 Aug 11

In a first for New Zealand, Simms International will soon begin offering Dell servers, configured to order and assembled locally.
Paul Johnston, Simms International managing director, says the servers will be assembled in an Auckland configuration centre, enabling resellers to order the machines and have them delivered within two to three days.
Johnston says the local configuration comes on the back of demand from resellers, and lengthy discussions with Dell. "There are a series of processes we’ve had to go through. Dell is very, very careful about the quality of their products ... and we have to meet the same quality standards.”
Coming Soon: Expressonline
In July, Simms International was acquired by Expressonline, a subsidiary of Express Data, for an undisclosed sum, with the existing Simms business to be incorporated into the Expressonline offering.
Johnston says the purchase spells good news for New Zealand resellers. "The brakes are off and this unleashes the potential for Simms, and the new business, to really go forward.” He says the deal will provide ‘substantial opportunity’ to introduce new ranges into the New Zealand marketplace.
Simms introduced Dell to the reseller market and recently signed distribution deals with IronKey and Huawei. "Bringing these new products to market opens up opportunities for resellers who previously haven’t had the opportunity to resell these products.
"With Expressonline we will have a very substantial organisation behind us for funding. We’ve been growing quite dramatically, but it’s been self funded. This will enable us to leverage off a major organisation while providing a personable local face to the channel.”
However, Johnston says the company won’t be looking to bring masses of new product to market, with the plan instead to continue to concentrate on having a small group of quality vendors.
While the Australian integration of Simms International into the Expressonline business is expected to be completed by September, integration of the New Zealand businesses is expected to take several months longer. "The situation in New Zealand is a bit different. Expressonline doesn’t exist here [unlike in Australia] so we’re starting from scratch. We can replicate a lot of the Australian operation, but there will be areas we will have to do completely from scratch so we expect things to take somewhat longer here,” Johnston says. "I expect we will be at least a couple of months behind Australia.”
Johnston says when Expressonline does launch in New Zealand, it will be a fully functional offering, with online web ordering up and running from day one. "In the meantime, it’s business as usual [for the Simms International brand] while we work away in the background on this stuff.”