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New Kiwi tech start-up tackles SMB IT issues

James Henderson | June 6, 2017
Origin IT spin-off aims to service IT needs of struggling small business owners.

Michael Russell - CEO, Origin IT

New Zealand business owners could soon be reprieved from problematic IT system set-ups, following the launch of a new technology start-up targeting the smaller end of town.

Designed to remove complexity and cost out of IT deployments, HUM is the brainchild of Origin IT, a leading technology provider across the country.

Specifically, the spin-off start-up provides fixed fee service bundles to the small business sector, targeting 5-50 seat organisations nationwide.

"The simplicity, transparency and quality of HUM is a breakthrough offering for the small business sector," Origin IT CEO Michael Russell told Reseller News.

According to Russell, there are four key pillars to the HUM offering, spanning support, security, applications and platform.

From a technology perspective, the business works with vendors such as ESET, Cisco Umbrella and Message Shield in security, with options to add in Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium and Microsoft Azure.

Connecting directly into the Origin back-end capabilities, the HUM service offers support and security through a base bundle charged on a fixed fee $150 per user, per month rate, while utilising a direct licensing fee for applications such as Office 365.

"It's the same processes, technology and support that have been successfully serving our mid-market enterprise clients for nearly 20 years," Russell added. "Small business customers will benefit from the tried and tested power and efficiency of the Origin engine.

"The level of quality is not something small businesses can replicate in-house."

To service the market, Russell has created a dedicated HUM team from a sales and service perspective, leveraging a shared services model with Origin's 120+ base of specialists.

"At Origin, we're constantly asking ourselves how we can add more value to our customers," Russell added. "As part of our ongoing discussions around this, we realised that we had two distinct segments that we provide support for - our mid-market clients (50 +employees) and our SME clients (5-50 employees).

"While there are similarities with each, there are also some key differentiators. And having quizzed our clients and future prospects on the topic, we gained some invaluable insight on how to better cater to their needs.

"This resulted in us productising a right-sized fully managed support and security offering for the small business market - HUM."

Consequently, the wider Origin group now encompasses Origin, Hum and Optinet, spanning SMB, mid-market and enterprise sectors.

With a specific 5-50 seat bracket set for HUM currently, Russell said when organisations progress to the upper bracket in terms of size, the team will internally assess whether the HUM or Origin service is best suited.

"For years we have been servicing a suite of small business customers under the Origin umbrella, (which where relevant will be migrated to HUM) and are on boarding new customers every week to our new HUM service," Russell said.

 

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