Spark Business Hutt-KapitiBack to overview
Sometimes in business it can feel like you need to do everything on your own. Wouldn't it be great if someone offered a helping hand?
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How we're helping our customers
Having Account Manager Karthik Ullas nearby has proven to be a real asset for PropertyNZ. It meant he could quickly visit to better understand a major fault they'd discovered with their new building's internet connection. That led to an ingenious solution which helped keep things on track.
Two years ago, homes.co.nz was set up to meet the growing need for up-to-the-minute information about New Zealand's red hot property market. According to COO Darryl Lundy, the vision was simple - "New Zealand really needed better access to property data - just making available a whole lot of things over here that were all happening overseas."
The business constantly monitors nationwide sales, plus works closely with regional councils from around New Zealand, in order to offer the latest information. That means being online is critical to day-to-day operations. "It's a completely technology based business, no question of that," Lundy agrees. "Getting the office hooked up to the internet is number one. Plus we've got a bunch of software developers all here working on and updating their code and the servers which are Sydney based. Without that they can't do their job either."
So recently when they moved office location and had unanticipated issues gaining desperately needed internet access, Lundy and his team had a big problem. "When we first moved into this building last year there was a whole lot of dramas around getting connected to fibre," Lundy says. "Then we were going to go to a fall back of getting an ADSL connection instead and that was even harder apparently."
The problem stemmed from damage to the building's infrastructure. "Someone had ripped off the 'DMARC point', so there wasn't any way we could put in fibre or broadband until it was fixed," local Spark Business Hub Account Manager Karthik Ullas explains. Fortunately, after visiting the site to better understand the problem himself, Karthik had a plan.
"He gave us one of those rural wireless connections, well two of them actually, so we could hook everyone up to that and use a rural satellite solution in the meantime," Lundy says. The ingenious temporary fix tided things over until Chorus installers could fix the fault with the building.
This lateral approach illustrates the type of bespoke solutions the Spark Business Hubs can provide. Having someone like Karthik locally based means seeing things first-hand to intimately understands a business' unique needs. And from there quickly deal with issues as they arise to ensure continuity if required. That proved extremely handy according to Lundy. "Once they realised 'gosh we've got a problem to solve' they went away, figured out what they can do in the meantime and then made it happen." It's obviously an arrangement that Lundy values. "I've got one person who I can email with a question or a change and it just gets done. And if it means he's got to come down then that happens too."
So crisis averted. And now fibre's been successfully installed too, which is helping the business go from strength to strength. "It's great, we've got about 20 odd staff connected to one fibre connection and it's giving us the bandwidth we need for everyone to do their job."
Looking forward the online business is now expanding into the app market. And they're also eyeing up expanding their Auckland office, which Darryl believes Spark will be involved in. "I can see that getting bigger so creating a better connection between the two offices with audio and video conferencing is something we would be looking at Spark to help with."
What's more, a close relationship with their Business Hub Account Manager is ensuring the team at homes.co.nz are freed up to focus on their business rather than admin. "The customer doesn't want to go to a store to get things done," Ullas explains. "They just give me a call or flick me an email. That's a big reason why they like Spark, because they've got that one-on-one account management facility with us."
So, from one very big issue right down to the smaller daily details, Darryl Lundy's clearly found a close relationship with the local Spark Business Hub's been extremely useful in helping keep their business moving. "Karthik's been great to deal with, and very responsive. For example every time we've had someone new join up who needs a mobile connection he pops down with SIM cards and sorts them out. So, yeah, it's worked very well."
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Spark Business Hutt-Kapiti
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