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Systems Integration business development specialist Elaine Ford has been appointed CEO of new ‘office integration’ company to be formed from combining U-Bix Document Solutions and Cogent Communications.
The combined entity will employ more than 500 people, have annual revenues exceeding $100 million, and plans to offer the first integrated ‘end-to-end’ package of products and support services required by modern business office.
Executive chairman, Stefan Preston, said the new company was natural outcome of the convergence of office technology.
“The concept is simple and timely, configuring all office technology products and services from single point. However, turning that simple concept into business reality requires high-level systems integration experience. Hence Elaine Ford’s appointment,” Preston says.
A former general manager of systems integration for Wang New Zealand, and general manager of IBM’s Business Innovation Services division, Ford says development of the new ‘office integration’ brand name and product and services offering is underway. formal launch is planned “within three months”.
She says the U-Bix and Cogent brand names will be retained. Further company acquisitions will be considered, and new staff hired, to fill out the complete range of products and services required.
“U-Bix and Cogent are the nucleus of new combined entity that will be more than the sum of its parts. It’s about creating the synergy required to deliver the first end-to-end office technology products and services company in the New Zealand market.”
She says New Zealand businesses should not be required to manage whole host of disconnected product and service supplier relationships. “The technology supporting print and electronic communication devices and services is converging. It’s timely that the supply, configuration and management of these devices and supporting services should also converge.”
Ford says the new company is planned to grow quickly, including growth through acquisitions. “We expect to be among the top 10 New Zealand IT companies within 12 to 18-month timeframe. Initially our focus will be in New Zealand, but acquisitions will be made with the larger potential of the Australian market firmly in view.”
U-Bix Document Solutions and Cogent Communications are owned by Hanover Group, the country’s largest privately owned finance group with assets of over $650 million and annual revenue of $200 million. Hanover Group includes Elders Finance, Nationwide Finance, Leasing Solutions, Elders Home Loans and Hanover Securities.
Preston says the relationship with Hanover is major strength as financing will be key factor in offering complete, integrated office technology solution.

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