Connect NZ is a $50 million voice, video and IT company that has been in business for 35 years. Its growth strategy is to leverage its market position as a trusted service provider by selling an expanding range of services to its customer base, all on one bill.
As a first move, Connect NZ built a Datagate billing and customer portal for its telecommunications services. This has streamlined and automated telecom billing, while at the same time providing increased transparency to customers through online reporting and analytical services.
The company is in the process of adding additional services to the Datagate portal, this time for a cloud-based managed phone system. Next it will add cloud-based video services. Connect NZ’s repair centre fixes 25,000 mobile phones and laptops each year. The company plans to use Datagate to bill these services too.
“Our use of the Datagate portal will multiply until we have a centralized billing view across all of our technologies,” says CEO Karl Rosnell.
“If a customer has a new employee who needs a telephone, Microsoft 365 Office software, a laptop and Adobe software, we’ll be able to send the customer a single cloud-based bill for all of it.”
“Datagate enables us to automate and combine the billing of multiple on-line services on to a single bill.”
Karl Rosnell, CEO, Connect NZ Group
Datagate uses the latest cloud technologies to process the usage data of Connect NZ’s customers across multiple platforms. It accurately calculates monthly bills as well as providing an online portal account featuring a range of graphs and reports for each customer’s private access. Customers can make their own cost enquiries, and compare their spending and consumption patterns, as and when they want to.
“Datagate offers transparency and simplicity for our customers, while offering automation and efficiency for our accounts department. Everyone wins,” Karl Rosnell says.
He says Datagate is an important operational tool because it creates a vital layer of transparency.
“Transparency is part of our competitive advantage because we operate in a market where not all providers offer it. Did our advice give the customer the return on investment we predicted? With Datagate, it’s plain for anyone to see.
“The subscription model for service delivery is gaining in popularity because it suits customers to pay for what they use, as they use it. Customers want fewer bills because it makes their life simpler. For us, it’s operationally efficient to bundle multiple services on a single bill. But beyond that, it deepens our customer relationships and increases customer loyalty.
Datagate is an aggregator of services. Instead of dealing with multiple suppliers and multiple bills, you can come to us and get it all.”
“Datagate offers transparency and simplicity for our customers, while offering automation and efficiency for our accounts department. Everyone wins.”
Karl Rosnell, CEO, Connect NZ Group
Datagate’s value to Connect NZ is partly speed and accuracy.
“We are dealing with bills that have minute detail – the margin for error is too great when you try to process them manually, and the time taken is too great also,” Karl Rosnell says.
In this way, Datagate provides Connect NZ with both competitive advantage and operational efficiency. Perhaps most excitingly, it also represents a significant new growth path for the long-established business.
“We can add new services to the mix as opportunities present. This is the start,” Karl Rosnell says.
“Twelve months ago we weren’t selling wholesale phone lines and minutes. We entered that market because we saw small and medium sized businesses getting charged too much. We can see other strategic partnerships are now possible – we could be selling electricity for example, or any other service where we can add extra value for the customer and still turn a profit. Our use of portals is in its infancy. It’s a major growth opportunity for us.”