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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.

Addressing market demand

Through the creation of HUM, Russell is targeting untapped potential in the New Zealand market, with 97 per cent of the market made up by small businesses.

In dominating Kiwi industries, only 5,325 businesses employ more than 50 staff, with almost 50,000 potential customers available to the HUM brand.

According to Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment findings for 2017, for businesses with 6-19 employees, 96 per cent use the internet, 20 per cent are connected via fibre, 69 per cent have a website and 72 per cent have internet sales.

Yet in New Zealand, small firms continue to face unique challenges.

"We believe that hardworking business owners deserve more from their IT systems," Russell said.

"HUM is a managed IT solution that gives small businesses access to world class IT and all the technology grunt that bigger companies take for granted. It's IT that small businesses can count on, delivered at a no-surprises price."

For Russell, the creation of HUM helps to service growing customer demand in the market, as businesses struggle to extract cost and value from technology.

"Every medium sized business was once a small business," he explained. "From my own experience, and from working with clients, I know that IT hassles can be a big worry, a big distraction and a big cost.

"IT set-ups for small businesses can be ad-hoc and the true cost is often not known. Poor or outdated systems can be a handbrake to doing business and to growing that business and the full cost of technology is often more than business owners think."

In addition, Russell said business owners are continually challenged by hidden costs such as staff downtime, loss of productivity and revenue, management time, and damage to reputation caused by loss of service.

Designed as a "soothing balm" for common technology pain points, Russell said HUM addresses many of the issues that small businesses face including poor security, spiralling costs, lack of support, outdated systems and systems crashing when they're most needed.

"HUM is a New Zealand first in terms of simplicity, transparency and quality," Russell said.

"With the power of the Origin back engine, and our tried and tested processes and technology, it would be pretty difficult to replicate this service at the level of quality and cost provided by HUM."

Encapsulating powerful infrastructure and 24/7 support, HUM is built to grow alongside a customer, with no disruptions or unwarranted downtime.

"HUM has the power, the people and a track record of delivering managed IT services that means that small business owners can get on with doing business and stop worrying about technology," Russell added.

Looking ahead, Russell said the business group's overall aim to become the leading managed IT service provider for both SME and mid-market sectors in New Zealand.


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