26 Oct 2017
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PS: Business booming for PS Duo security professional services

By Heather Wright

After just 18 months in business, PS Duo – a professional services company which sprung from distributor Duo – is celebrating multiple wins, including its inclusion on the New Zealand Government ICT Security and Related Services Panel.

Jackie Hatchwell, PS Duo director, says the business – which operates separately from Duo and provides contractors for brands not represented by Duo, as well as those that are – is ‘a huge growth area for us’.

“It’s definitely picking up speed. We’ve had phenomenal growth in revenue over the first six months of this year over last year,” Hatchwell says.

PS Duo has just been appointed to the ICT Security and Related Services (SRS) panel, is in discussions with vendors about whitelisted professional services and has a growing stable of contractors with the service being adopted by increasing numbers of resellers.

The SRS panel, designed to help government agencies manage privacy and security issues, has seen 40 service providers contracted to provide services for eligible government agencies across the five categories of ICT security and related services.

PS Duo was appointed as a primary vendor across infosec risk management and assessment, infosec governance and strategy and infosec assurance on the panel.

It was also appointed to provide ancillary services across source code, application review and technical testing and ICT forensics, investigation and security incident response.

“It shows that we have resource available in each of the categories and what we can deliver with that resource,” Hatchwell says. “There’s a lot behind a government tender and it’s great to be part of that panel now.”

The appointment to the panel follows a busy year for the company which has added a minority shareholder and director, with Clint Revell joining the team, and built out a network of around 60 contractors nationwide to call on, with the aim of providing a skilled resource, almost on tap for reseller partners.

Hatchwell says the service has been well received, with 18 contractors currently out on long term engagements of eight to 12 months, and another seven or eight out any given week on short term engagements.

Hatchwell says the company is also seeing increasing diversity in its reseller partners.

Initially used primarily to backfill resource for Tier 1 resellers with their own security practices, PS Duo is increasingly being called on to help Tier 2 resellers who don’t have their own in-house security resource for projects. “We’ve got a number of Tier 2 reseller partners across both the North and South Island now, which just shows the conversation around security is widening.

“Their customer base is more aware of what is happening so when someone wants someone to come in and look at their system and do a health check on it, if you’re a Tier 2 you may not have that resource available.

“Rather than independently going out and finding someone to do it for them or going to one of the big four, the resellers are coming to us.”

But it’s not just resellers and some end users looking to take advantage of PS Duo’s resources, with the company in discussion with several vendors about whitelabelled professional services – essentially providing vendors with a local professional services arm.

Hatchwell says discussions are underway with two vendors currently on the logistics of providing the service.

“We’ve been approached by a number of vendors about that. A couple are vendors Duo already represents here in New Zealand, but others are vendors that we don’t distribute.

“At the moment they’re having to bring people in internationally because they don’t have access to any skill set here.”

The contractors would be trained up at the vendor’s cost.

“It’s another added benefit for the contractors,” Hatchwell says.

Hatchwell says a large priority for her is making the contractors, who are spread across New Zealand, feel like they are part of a team, rather than independent contractors.

The company has built a collaboration tool to ensure contractors can communicate with each other and ask for help from other contractors.

“We’re encouraging everyone to use it and it’s paying for itself in the sense of being a fantastic way for the contractors to not only help each other out, but get to know each other,” she says.

Hatchwell says the company is also building out an education calendar to enable its contractors to quickly locate training – which can be spread across multiple providers depending on who distributes a product – and upskill.

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