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How does a large multinational corporation utilise a boutique IT company?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Brought to you by owner of Network Overdrive, Greg Clarkson, our Taste of Technology video series brings real life case studies of Australian businesses direct to you. Discover how other businesses are utilising managed service providers to help grow their business.

 

 

 

Greg: Hello. My name is Greg from Network Overdrive. I'm joined here today by Matthew from Delta Electronics. How are you?

 

Matthew: Hi, Greg.

 

Greg: So tell us a little about Delta Electronics and what you do.

 

Matthew: Delta Electronics is a power electronics manufacturer based in Taiwan. We've got manufacturing locations all over the world. in Asia, in Europe, in South America, North America. We cover a broad range of products. Anything you imagine where power conversion is used, AC to DC, DC to AC products. We also include PV inverters, UPS equipment, and industrial automation equipment.

 

Greg: So you're really large?

 

Matthew: We are a large company. We have 80,000 employees globally. In Australia, we've been here for three years now. Our office is in Notting Hill. We have a small team of 20 people.

 

Greg: You're just starting in Australia?

 

Matthew: We're just starting, yes. It's still a growing business, and we're looking at a lot of opportunities in Australia. Our solar inverter is obviously a key product in the market, but we are also looking at other renewable and energy saving products, one of which, of course, is electric vehicles.

 

Greg: I believe you just came in an electric vehicle, is that right?

 

Matthew: Indeed. We have our own little Nissan Leaf that we drive around. That's amazing. I've never driven electric vehicles in the past, but it's really exciting to experience that.

 

Greg: One of your units will do the charging for it?

 

Mathew: Indeed. One of our product categories are the electric vehicle chargers. We've got fast chargers and normal chargers for it. So these are the products that we also promote in Australia.

 

Greg: You would typically buy one of these units?

 

Matthew: The smaller units are suited to your private households. You could have this charger in your garage and charge it overnight or when the vehicle is not used. The larger units, the quick-charge units, are more suited to highways or locations similar to a petrol station, where you want to quickly recharge your car and then get going again.

 

Greg: This reminds me of that catch phrase, the Internet of things. You're at the cutting edge of the Internet of things.

 

Matthew: Indeed. Delta Electronics has already developed in its internal software team solution, but that solution was actually tailored towards the Asian markets and in Taiwan and China. As you can imagine our customers in Australia require slightly different solutions for their own application. Think of city councils that want to provide a fleet of electric vehicles to their customers. And so my particular challenge here is to adapt and modify that software solution to suit the local environment.

 

Greg: In your dealings with the council, what do you find that you need to do, to give them what they want? Especially from a technology perspective.

 

Matthew: Greg, the councils, of course, ask us for a transparency of the products. They need quite a lot of information as to how these electric vehicle charges are being used or in that matter how the electric vehicles are used. We want to give them a very transparent picture of who uses the vehicles and for what duration. The council is interested in finding out what amount of electricity is used for that purpose, so that the councils are able to basically share that information with their community.

 

In this particular circumstance, we had an internal software solution already tailored from the team in Taiwan which needed to be adapted to the Australian requirements of the particular city council. We were quite happy to draw on our existing relationship with Network Overdrive, and especially with the team who are able to discuss the minutiae of the software requirements with our developers, who mainly speak Mandarin. I am very happy that in your team you have native speakers where I can't follow the conversation.

 

Greg: It's a small world we live in.

 

Matthew: Yes, yes.

 

Greg: It's sort of ironic that in some ways you're a large multinational company, you have a fairly expansive IT capability yourself that manages offices all around the world, and yet there are certain situations where you would use a third party IT support company to do certain things. Can you just explain how you decide when to use internal resources and when you might reach out to a local IT company? And when you do reach out to a local IT company, the sort of things you're looking for in a company that you might engage with?

 

Matthew: Yes, yes, of course. Delta employs a large IT team in various locations. And so we have for our internal requirements file-sharing, emails, setting up secure connections between the different offices. Of course, we would use our own company internal resources. But when it gets to customizing and finding a solution, local to the environment, then, of course, it's much easier to work with a local small company, boutique IT consultant like yourself, rather than invoking the big internal IT machinery.

 

Greg: Sure. So when you do that, what do you look for in that boutique IT company, as you said? How do you choose one from the other?

 

Matthew: Definitely. We've had good experiences in the past with Network Overdrive. There is an existing trust relationship. The other thing that I definitely look for is being up-to-date with cutting edge technology. You guys have always delivered on that providing sound, impartial advice. We're happy with that. Also, the flexibility that is required because sometimes the outset of a project, for instance, this EV charging station software, I didn't really fully understand all the technical implications. So I was very happy that the relationship with Network Overdrive allowed that project to flow in a very organic way and deliver the results that it has.

 

Greg: Thank you.

 

Matthew: Oh you're welcome.

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