24 Mar 2015
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New Zealand Rhipe for new offerings

By Heather Wright

Rhipe is promising ‘really bold expansion plans’ across its business – with hopes of adding up to 10 to 12 new staff in New Zealand.

“We have really bold expansion plans everywhere,” Dominic O’Hanlon, Rhipe chief executive, says. “We want to be the Asia Pacific lead in cloud and in channel.

“And if we can do that we are going to have a very sustainable business.”

O’Hanlon notes that the cloud licensing distributor has $100 million in annual recurring revenue already and is growing at 45% per annum. Rhipe stock has been added to the all ordinaries index in Australia.

“So we’re becoming a pretty serious company and we want to keep it up.”

The company, previously known as Newlease, currently has just a pure sales office, with only a couple of staff in New Zealand.

“I’d like to see us building out our cloud solutions business here.”

Late last year the Rhipe acquired nSynergy, a specialist Office 365 company, and specialist in the implementation of SharePoint, Lync and Yammer for the enterprise.

“That business is a very, very good opportunity for us to bring that business unit into the New Zealand marketplace.”

O’Hanlon says before that can happen, nSynergy needs to be rebranded to Rhipe and the companies need to be fully merged.

“But there’s definitely an expansion opportunity for that business here in New Zealand - but only if our partners want it.”

With that in mind, Rhipe’s new vice president of market research will be doing research amongst New Zealand partners as to whether they see benefit in the introduction of the new cloud solutions business here.

“We did it in Australia and the answer was yes,” O’Hanlon says of channel response.

The company is also bidding on Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider, tier two, in New Zealand and six other countries.

“We have no idea whether we will win that or not.

“I must admit, I would have preferred to have had a much bigger presence here before now. It would have made it easier. But that will definitely be an expansion if we win that, with new sales and marketing people and technical support as well.”

O’Hanlon says he expects an announcement on the successful bidders in a month.

He says the company identified 46 new vendors and geographies of interest, but accepts that is far too many to pursue at once. However, he says the company is actively seeking new vendors.

“There are plenty of opportunities.

“The good thing about New Zealand is the economy is doing really well. It’s growing, it’s robust, and it’s very close…”

Late last year also saw Rhipe take an AU$2.5 million stake in LiveTiles, the product arm of nSynergy, which develops software to create tiled interfaces for SharePoint and Office 265.

Rhipe distributes the product exclusively in ANZ and O’Hanlon says the product is ‘another growth opportunity in New Zealand.”

O’Hanlon says if all goes to plan, and in an ideal world, Rhipe could add another 10-12 staff locally.

“If we won CSP and if we were also building our services team here because our customers want it, and if LiveTiles is of interest to our customers, we could probably end up with another 10-12 people this year,” he says.

 “In the last six months we have done so much,” says O’Hanlon.

“We have changed our name, we have doubled our work force, we have gone from 1000 service providers to 1500 and we have grown our revenue by 45%.

“Our strategy is clear. The next part is execution,” O’Hanlon says.

“We are just at the beginning of this thing. We are nowhere near the end of it.

“If you take our current business and map it out for two years, you can make some pretty strong predictions about where we’re going to be.

“Except you’d be wrong. Because I have no idea what this business is going to look like two years from now.

“It is growing that fast and there are than many new opportunities.”

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