Alister Gates, New Zealand Trade Centre, www.newzealandtradecentre.co.nz
The New Zealand Trade Centre (NZTC), a trade promotions company launched 17 years ago, is dedicated to creating new opportunities for New Zealand exporters and importers.
Alister Gates, CEO, NZTC, has been in the door six months and already the place has undergone massive change and growth.
"Our vision is to create a centre of excellence for New Zealand exporters and expand the services currently provided," says Gates. The project has begun with a complete rebuild, including a new world class trade display centre and a business hotdesk space called the 'Ingenuity Business Centre' - it is here that kiwi companies will have a place to 'touch-down' in Auckland and make the most of the resources and technology NZTC offers.
Expanding the organisation called for an upgrade in new technology for the NZTC as the company soon found it was limited by its legacy technology. The outdated PBX could handle the eight staff using it previously, but now with 12 staff onboard and the launch of the 'Ingenuity Business Centre' the telecommunications systems needed an overhaul.
At any given time up to 40 businesses will be in the new 'Ingenuity Business Centre' accessing hot desks, meeting rooms and cutting edge conference facilities - for a day, a week or longer. The telecommunications system needed to be able to scale rapidly to meet the changing demands.
It wasn't just a case of simply adding more phones. The NZTC needed to have the ability to offer exporters a place where a phone number could be established for them instantly, answered in their name and housed at an Auckland address. With the amount of travel required in the export business they also need to be able to switch their entire communications mobile in an instant.
Gates is creating a virtual office space, one where businesses can plug in and simply work with all the technology, expertise and support provided. As there would be no in-house IT department, it was vital any new telco solution needed to be managed by the provider and the response time be critical.
With an array of modern telecommunications about to be on offer to NZTC clients, one final part of the challenge was 'checking out'. Similar to leaving a hotel the NZTC required a system that could instantly realise the costs of the client's usage in the office space, everything from landline and mobile calls to internet and video conferencing.
Attempting all of this with the outdated PBX was not only costly and complicated but it would not offer the functionality to support the new business model.
The solution, was VoIP, or as Gates put it "the new technology, where the world is going".
CallPlus, NZTC's "trusted provider", proposed a solution that would bring together the benefits of VoIP and outsourcing. The CallPlus product Connect was recommended as it is perfect for small to medium businesses looking for a fully scalable telecommunications system capable of supporting 4 to 100 plus staff.