Location, location, location
Millennium Technology’s Brent Fryer can't imagine living or working anywhere elseBy Lee Davis, Auckland | Monday, 16 July 2012
Taupo-based Millennium Technology is looking forward to a shift in focus to the service side of its business. This includes cloud offerings, which the company says will be abetted by a fibre cable upgrade in this lakeside town.
Local man Brent Fryer, who has owned Millennium since 2006, says the upgrade will make cloud services a practical option for small businesses.
“We’ve historically been a consumer-oriented sales model but obviously over the years that’s been modified quite a bit to encompass quite a large customer base that’s business-oriented as well,” Fryer says. “We do find there’s far less value in sales now than the service side of the business.”
Millennium was originally based in Hamilton with branches in Taupo and Rotorua. Fryer bought the Taupo branch as a going concern.
“We now service primarily Taupo and the surrounding rural area. We do go as far as Turangi, Taumarunui and I have been known to do a few jobs down in Napier but its primary customer base is in the immediate Taupo area.”
Fryer says one of Millennium’s business advantages is Flexirent, which offers alternative financial terms for products and services, which are especially attractive to business customers that can offset expenses and claim back capital devaluation.
“We’ve got a lot of customers who chose to lease their equipment,” says Fryer. “It’s good for them and good for us because we get the follow up business a couple of years on when they decide to renew their lease. So it’s a good means of keeping an on-going communication with our business clients. And it gives us an opportunity to sell new gear every couple of years as well.”
He says the decision whether the customer will lease or not will likely sit with the company’s accountant.
“Some accountants are very pro-leasing and some aren’t,” says Fryer.
Fryer says he has dropped vendors that have delivered poor customer service on repairs and warranties. The shop does its own custom builds of desktops. It carries Asus and HP systems, as well as servers from IBM.
When it comes to security solutions Fryer says he’s happy with the Eset Range of products including Nod32 antivirus. “We’ve been a reseller of theirs for quite some time now and it’s actually great for us because we get a lot of control over the renewals and subscriptions. We don’t sell a product and then lose control over the customer.”
He says Taupo is a great place because it’s neither too small nor too big.
“My family moved here when I was about four, so I’ve never really known any different,” Fryer says. “It’s a small enough town that you’re not on everybody's back door and you can go places without having to commute an hour across town. Yet it’s big enough that if you need something it’s here. It’s great over the summer. It’s warm and we’ve got the lake. And it’s not that far to Auckland or Wellington, and a couple of hours to Napier, it’s so central. There are lots of touristy things to do which is great when you’ve got visitors from out of town. At this point in time I can’t really see myself being anywhere else.”
While the current broadband service has put a hold on Millennium’s cloud service offering, the upgrade is going to change the equation.
“They’re actually madly laying fibre through the town at the moment,” he says. “So I’m starting to put a bit more research into online services. There are quite a few of our customers that I can see benefitting from that. It’s not good for us in terms of reduced hardware costs but then there’s the service model where you’ve got that on-going revenue if we can start selling some cloud services, such as on-line backup, Office, Outlook, those sort of hosted services.”
In the meantime he says he’s just playing around with Windows 8.
“I have to say I’m adjusting to it quite quickly and I do quite like the on-line connectivity because I’ve got a Windows-based phone and I’m looking forward to the new Windows tablet coming out soon. Just having that cohesiveness across the platforms looks like it could be quite a powerful tool.”
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