Base 2 weathers GFC to reach new heights
Base 2 has grown into a multi-million dollar business employing 20 people with big-name clients such as Ports of Auckland and TV3By Darren Greenwood, Auckland | Monday, 07 November 2011
From a standing start in the middle of the global financial crisis, Auckland-based Base 2 has grown into a multi-million dollar business employing 20 people with big-name clients such as Ports of Auckland and TV3.
The managed services specialist gained a major investment bank as a client in 2011, helping it double in size, and the company looks to double again in 2012.
Base 2 was formed early in 2009 in Mt Eden by managing director Greg Sharp, who is part owner, along with chairman Hugh Burrett, the former CEO of ASB Bank, and technical director Andrew McBeath.
Sharp, an old boy of Wanganui Collegiate School, has been in the ICT industry for 18 years, since gaining a degree in information systems and international business at Auckland University.
“I liked computers and saw the pay could be pretty so I chose to seek work in the IT industry. I got a job at Financial Systems teaching people how to use computers, then I got into engineering,” he recalls.
Sharp gained a Novell CNA accreditation and started on the security track. The work took him to London, contracting for councils and banks as a security expert, mainly in the field of AV and internet security. Ten years ago he returned to New Zealand and in 2003, after a brief stint at Trend Micro, Sharp joined the Business Technology Group as an engineer, rising up to sales director and becoming a part-owner.
“I had a good run and was there for six years. Through this I learnt a lot about running a company and quite a bit of what not to do again. At 35, I knew it was time to run my own IT company and I wanted it to be in the managed services arena to assist with monthly annuity and steadier cashflow,” he says.
Thus, Base 2 was born. Base 2 now has business clients spread across New Zealand, though 80 percent are around Auckland, with a few in the UK and Singapore, mainly in financial services.
The company uses a series of products to deliver managed services through IT outsourcing. Base 2 also provides managed circuits, internet delivery, hosted services, hosted email and spam solutions as well as managed firewalls. Application hosting and management is another service.
“The managed circuits are a new service that is being well received by our client base. Managed DR services are also being sized up to go to market in the next quarter,” Sharp says.
“Through our private cloud and managed circuits, services and products, Base 2 is a one-stop-shop allowing us to provide end-to-end services to business. Base 2 has been able to compete and win over the ‘big boys’ through the ability to deliver in tight timeframes, with lower costs by gaining larger wallet spend with end-to-end services. Base 2 has a great virtualisation delivery capability and many of the projects we undertake have this element. For a new company we also have very mature business processes driven through the ITIL framework,” he recalls.
Base 2 uses Datastor, Express Data and Exeed as suppliers, mainly using brands IBM, VMware, Sophos and Kaseya. Sharps says delivery is easy as most of the distributors are nearby.
Looking back on 2011, Sharp says the company won a very large contract with a well-known investment bank, which has kept it busy for most of the year.
“Base 2 was started in recession and has grown through the GFC. I think we will see another dip with all the countries that have extended borrowings. Once one falls over, there will be a point when things tighten up. This allows a smaller company like Base 2 more opportunity as larger customers are willing to look at the market of suppliers,” he says.
“2012 is looking very exciting with opportunity in the 50 to 250 user space, with the larger companies not actively concentrating on this area. Base 2 is also looking at the Wellington market to gain a presence there for existing and new clients.”
When not working, Sharp spends time with his wife and children Hunter, 8, and Olivia, 6, or trains as a long distance endurance swimmer. In February, he took a team of support swimmers and completed the 42 kilometre Taupo open water swim in 13 hours and 19 minutes.
“I was lucky enough to marry into a swimming family and after two Coast to Coast campaigns, I took to endurance swimming. I find it extremely relaxing with plenty of time to strategise on the business and how to work different sales angles. And it keeps me fit, or at least somewhat counteract the beer,” he adds.
- Allied Telesis axes NZ staff
- Express Data expands portfolio
- Brocade ANZ country manager talks OpenStack
- GeoOp expands with IT resellers
- NEC's 50 years in NZ
- Inhouse: Contract work, or reseller startup?
- Coffee Break with Luigi Cappel