Q: You said you are looking to hire in NZ. Do you have issues in finding or attracting the right talent?
SB: That is a continuing challenge for any IT services company. We are in a market that is constrained by capacity, and we are not seeing enough people come out of university with the right set of skills to really change that in the next 12 or 24 months.
It does require us often to look overseas for good people. We are currently undertaking graduate recruitment processes. We are looking at around 25 graduates to come in at the latter part of this year or next year. But we really need to bolster the numbers in the meantime. If we go by historical patterns, we would expect that as close to 50 per cent of new people will come from offshore.
Our aim is to grow the business in excess of 20 per cent this fiscal year, which means we need to add somewhere around 70 or 80 people. Historically, we would expect around 40 people to come from NZ and 40 to come from overseas.
Q: Do you see similar trends in Australia to what you have described in New Zealand?
SB: They definitely are similar. We have high hopes for Australian business over in this fiscal year. One of the distinct advantages that Australia has generally over NZ is the availability of onshore data centres. Microsoft will launch its Azure datacentre in Melbourne and Sydney in the next six months, which means that we will see a significant increase in the opportunities that exist around the cloud in Australia, and we do think that it will offload to NZ. Certainly, the Australian market will benefit from those.
Historically, we have focused around more traditional application deployment into the retail and professional services sectors in Australia. We see that expanding into delivering more Cloud-based solutions in those sectors and also assisting the public sector around that space.
We have done quite a bit more work around the professional services sector. I don't necessarily mean legal firms, but anywhere where you have got organisations delivering a service. That might even be mining construction or mining support services. We are not a strong provider to the resource sector but we are a strong provider to the organisations that supply services to the resource sector.
We have also done a lot of work around manufacturing and retail in Austarlia as well.
In Australia we have invested heavily in building a very strong sales team. The majority of the team is in Sydney, with good-sized teams across Melbourne and Perth.
We have front ended the business with the sales team. We are expecting to see a significant increase in our wins over there and we will continue to add consulting capability as those wins come through.
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