Jucy co-founder backs drive to rev up small business IT

Jucy co-founder backs drive to rev up small business IT

Origin IT has called on entrepreneur Tim Alpe to lend expertise to Kiwi SMBs as part of a new IT support contest, Take It On.

As well as the chance to pick Alpe's brain, businesses with between 20 and 50 staff can win a strategy session with Origin professional services manager Kerry Hull, former GM of IT at the Warehouse, and an IT support package worth up to $10,000.

Origin IT says the prizes will be tailored depending on the business' needs.

"Kerry Hull will meet with the business or businesses to discuss their current technology and business structure and understand their future business plans.

"He will then be able to advise on a technology roadmap to achieve these plans, linking business strategy with the IT needed to achieve it. If there is time, he will also be able to map the business value chain, identifying any gaps in capability and advising on any opportunities to create efficiencies in operations."

The IT support package will take into account the number of staff and needs in terms of servers, Origin says. Brothers Tim and Dan Alpe founded Jucy in 2001 as a car rental company.

It began with 35 vehicles and now has over 2800 cars and campervans, more than 200 staff, nine Jucy rentals branches in New Zealand, Australia and the US. It opened a hotel in 2010, the same year it enlisted Origin for network infrastructure support.

According to Alpe, the company's server was initially in the kitchen, slightly off the ground, next to the dishwasher, and it hadn’t considered using IT to drive growth. But it came to see technology as something that could enhance the business, he says.

The companies need to be locally-based, have ambitious growth plans, and can offer products or services in any industry. Entries close 6 October, with winners announced 20 October.