Certus buy creates IBM powerhouse

Certus is buying UtilityAP to create New Zealand’s largest specialist IBM software and service partner, with 50 staff throughout the country. The combined company will operate under the Certus organisational structure though the 18 UtilityAP staff will continue trading as UtilityAP while the two companies amalgamate and organise their regional presence.

There will be no staff changes. Greg Woolley will continue as managing director of Certus, and UtilityAP general manager Maarten van der Zeyden will manage the UtilityAP team as an operating division within Certus.

There will be a single Auckland office from early next year, and the combined group’s other resources will operate from Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington and Christchurch.

Certus executive director and shareholder Brian Allen says the key driver behind the merger is to bring together two organisations with niche product and industry expertise to form a unified practice operating a comprehensive range of IBM-based consulting and implementation services.

It’s being called a merger technically because Certus is paying UtilityAP owners in scrip. However, Certus will own UtilityAP, and both companies will trade ultimately as Certus Solutions.

Allen says the combined revenues at March would have been around $15 million. “We’re expecting that to grow to around $19 million next year.”

UtilityAP is the only IBM-certified Maximo sales and support organisation in New Zealand, while Certus delivers other IBM products such as FileNet, Domino, Tivoli, Rational and WebSphere.

Certus was founded in 1999. Customers include Fontera, Westpac, Air New Zealand, AMP, Vodafone, the Bank of New Zealand and several government departments.

UtilityAP has focused for the past 20 years on providing financial, asset and customer management solutions for companies such as Genesis Energy, Contact Energy, Orion, Fulton Hogan, Port Nelson and Port Taranaki.

Its offshore customers include Santos and Downer EDI Engineering.