Brothers open Sydney's Matrix

The MD of Sydney's newest network integrator has claimed Australian system integrators have done a poor job filling network integration needs, opening a gap in the market for specialist companies like his own.

Deni Saupin, managing director of Matrix CNI, said he believed his new consultancy and integration company had the customer relationships and expertise to revolutionise Australian network integration.

"Here's something a bit contentious. A lot of system integrators believe they have network expertise, but we don't think so. They might do business on the basis of existing customer relationships they have, but they should do their customers a favour and send them to a network integrator," he said. 'We're looking to exploit those existing relationships.'

Saupin and his two brothers, Jacques and Gilbert, spearhead the new specialist network integrator, which officially launched with a private screening for customers, partners and news media of the final movie of the Wachowski brothers' sci-fi action series, The Matrix: Revolutions, in Sydney's North Ryde on Thursday, 6 November.

Saupin said Matrix CNI would adopt a multi-vendor approach to what were expected to be next year's networking hot buttons -- wireless, wireless security and IP telephony and specialise in emerging verticals such as healthcare and education.

The three Saupin brothers, who hail from different IT industry backgrounds, had been working on building relationships since operations began in May, with a range of system integrator, vendor and customer contacts gleaned from 15 years of previous industry involvement, he said.

"We're not picking any particular vendor and targeting their marketplace, but have customers coming out of traditional PBX to IP telephony. We're partnering with Mitel as a product we sell. If you look at other countries, Cisco and Mitel are number one and number two in IP telephony,'" Saupin said.

Although the company wasn't specifically targeting any other vendors or channel players' business, Matrix CNI had found synergies with Mitel in particular, he said.

"Mitel's approach is much the same as ours. Let's not just look at what customers want, do they want the technology for technology's sake, but look at the business requirements of that customer," Saupin said.

Matrix CNI had also taken on a wireless Vocera communications device distributed by Logical Solutions, which Saupin claimed had done 'very well' in hospitals overseas. The device enables staff wearing the device in range of a WLAN to talk to each other either individually or in a group without disturbing other activities or people in the area.

"We have also been talking to Regal IT and a number of others [about deals]," Saupin said.

Matrix CNI has moved its 10 staff into an office in Artarmon on Sydney's North Shore.


HP resellers to offer business continuity services

Hardware vendor HP has offered selected services resellers a business continuity package to push into the Australian market.
HP's services channel partner manager Mike Bazely and business continuity head Steve Cartland said that eventually about six of the vendor's services channel partners could be signed to offer the package. This included access to off-site support, such as HP's own disaster recovery centres.
Initially, only HP services resellers Volante and Starcom would be permitted to offer the business continuity services, they said.
'We have had a large number of customers and resellers, because of some of the changes in the marketplace, ask for this. Channel partners are providing high-value services and customers are also responding to those services – there is growing interest,' Cartland said.
Cartland said work completed about a year ago by Macquarie Graduate School suggested only 12 percent of organisations had good business continuity plans. 'And the market hasn't changed that much since then,' he added.
He claimed resellers could earn margins '20 [percentage] points or more' from selling the package. 'And that's real margin, and we're providing them with a lot of expertise as well,' Cartland said.
Bazely said HP would support the partners from finding the opportunities to closing the deal in the offer, which was based on a subscription-type model. 'Subscribers can get support any time of day,' he said.
HP would respond within two hours to emergency callouts from customers, Bazely said.
The package would include assistance from 'HP business recovery experts' and 'everything you would expect' in such a service, Cartland said.
Bazely said his and Cartland's role included investigating services products in HP as a whole that could be profitably offered through the channel and building related infrastructure to deliver those services.
HP would then work to support the channel partners, who would deliver pre-sales support and manage the ongoing customer relationship in delivering those services, Cartland said.
'We want to be able to keep growing and bringing more services for the partners to sell, but you need to make sure they can make margin out of it,' Bazely said.
Cartland and Bazely confirmed that HP's channel 're-organisation' was ongoing, but said services partners weren't being prioritised over HP's more traditional hardware channel.
HP's services channel was growing, a phenomenon partly reflecting the broader Australian channel's increasing reliance on services to drive profits. HP expected to add more services-focused partners to the 10 in its primary services partner sales program, they said.
'It's not a massive channel, but a very focused channel,' Bazely said.
Cartland added that some of the vendor's services partners also sold HP hardware, but he did not know if any hardware partners would be dropped as a result of an increasing emphasis on services.
'[However] sales from our hardware channel are growing,' Cartland said.




Want some spam for Christmas?

Spammers are using Christmas overspending to tempt unwary consumers, according to a survey released today.

Content filtering vendor Clearswift found an increase in the amount of finance related spam -- it made up 12 percent of spam received in September, and rose to 24 percent during October. The vendor also found an increase in direct product related spam, particularly for DVD burners.

Chy Chuawiwat, managing director Asia Pacific at Clearswift, told iTnews that Christmas spam could include both gifs and hoaxes. “Direct marketing will increase because of Christmas gifts and buying,” Chuawiwat said. “Also, there'll be an increase in scams using spam.”

For October, 27 percent of spam was about healthcare; with pornography and profanity making up 16 percent of the spam received.

Clearswift measured spam for its monthly index through unsolicited emails received by the vendor, spam generated by seeding email accounts, and spam submissions forwarded to it by customers.

Spam has been in the spotlight increasingly over the past month. Late October, NSW police arrested a Sydney man who was allegedly involved in a multimillion dollar, so-called Nigerian Internet scam.

According to reports, the scam involved spam emails which conned people into believing that they could claim millions of dollars through lottery winnings. People were asked to send off money for expenses to claim their winnings.

While Clearswift's Chuawiwat didn't think the cracking of the Nigerian Internet scam would make a difference to the total volume of spam users received in their inboxes, he hoped it would send a message to the spammers that they could get caught.

But he also warned that Australian users continue to get caught out by spam. “Spammers are getting smarter and are trying different techniques,” Chuawiwat said.

In related news, the Australian Democrats last week called for no exceptions to the proposed federal spam legislation. While the Australian Democrats had indicated support for the broad intent of the anti-spam legislation, they said they didn't want special treatment for charities, political parties or religious organisations.

Senator Brian Greig, IT spokesperson for the Democrats, said that the Bill shouldn't distinguish between commercial and non-commercial unwanted email.

“Spam is intrusive, expensive and mostly unwanted, and is costing business more than $19 billion every year through wasted employee time,” Greig said in a statement.

The Democrats also described the Bill's search and seize procedures as “over-zealous in scope and justification”. It's calling for amendments restricting current provisions for entry on to private property, searching premises and seizing private property without warrants.

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