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Simms enters New Zealand market

11 Jan 10

[UPDATED] Establishing a new business in New Zealand is no small feat, but former Renaissance Managing Director Paul Johnston is confident that he can get Simms International’s newly created New Zealand business successfully off the ground by cultivating close relationships with vendors and partners.

Taking the helm at Simms New Zealand as Managing Director, Johnston said, “I’m very excited about the venture. Just to be involved at the start of a business like this is a great opportunity.”

Simms was started in the UK in 1990 and opened in Australia in 1995. Johnston said that Simms International has had its eye on entering the New Zealand market for a while, and decided that the time was now.

Each Simms business operates independently and is responsible for creating its own vendor relationships, which means that Johnston is busy talking to vendors, though he said that the goal isn’t to sign as many vendors as possible.

While there are a number of vendor agreements in the pipeline, Johnston refused to disclose details due to confidentiality.

“We’re not intending to grab a whole pile of vendors,” he said. “That’s not the type of business Simms is; it really does look to partner with vendors and try to make sure that we take them up into the number one and number two positions.”

He added: “Clearly what we want to do is make sure that the targeting of the vendors is done properly.”

The New Zealand offices will be located in Auckland and will initially have five to six employees. With the early goal of getting the business established, Johnston said that his previous experience at Renaissance and his 25 years of experience in the IT industry will help him get the venture on solid footing.

“All of the experience that I’ve been able to gain from both the Renaissance side and also from previous roles within the IT industry will be put to good use, I would expect, in the Simms business,” he said.

The short-term goal for the business is getting everything set up and finalised, from staff to vendor negotiations to working with the reseller channel, with plans to then “take it gradually” and “make sure we gain the respect of everybody that we’re dealing with”. In simple terms, Johnston said his long-term goal for the business is to “develop a very strong, sustainable business in New Zealand”.

And when it comes to performance, Johnston said that his plan to ensure year-on-year growth is to work closely with both vendors and channel partners to help their businesses.

He said: “It’s really quite simple. Do the right job for the vendor, do the right job for the channel partner, and as a distributor, you’ll be successful.”

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