Systems integrator Open Systems Specialists, better known as OSS, has built its reputation around their expertise, service and solutions and has a client base that includes some of New Zealand’s biggest organisations. Initially based in Auckland, it has grown to serve clients throughout New Zealand.TC How did it all begin?OSS It started in the mid-1990s out with a team of two setting out to offer quality, independence and value to New Zealand organisations, at that time, those using Unix-based systems.TC What changes has the business undergone?OSS We have grown our team and capabilities, allowing us to offer expertise across a wide range of services and technologies, and now additional geographies – as a result we play a significant role in advising, supplying and managing infrastructure solutions for our clients.TC What is your core business?OSS To design, architect, select, provide, deploy and operate IT infrastructure solutions according to our customers’ needs. Our focus is on enterprise computing technologies, Unix and Linux systems, storage, networking, virtualisation, and web and database infrastructure. We have a practice-led approach to key areas of capability including virtualisation (spanning proprietary and commodity systems, storage and desktop, and Open Source solutions), web and e-commerce infrastructure, load balancing, high availability, monitoring and management.TC Who are your clients and what business challenges do they face?OSS We have a variety of clients, mostly large and medium sized organisations, across corporate, government, and non-profit sectors. Regardless, the challenges revolve around using IT to balance innovation, enablement, risk and cost within the organisation.TC What challenges do you face operating outside a metropolitan area?OSS While there are some physical issues that won’t diminish in the foreseeable future, our industry is better placed than most to take advantage of remote connectivity technologies, both for management of systems, and increasingly for interpersonal communications.TC What technology is hot right now?OSS Virtualisation (server and storage), green computing, open source software (infrastructure and management), Web 2.0 and data storage technologies continue to disrupt the existing/previous models, when implemented properly. Organisations are using these types of innovative technologies to provide both competitive gain and a strong return on investment.TC What’s not?OSS Solutions that increase complexity and cost, without delivering enough gains to the business – if it can’t deliver a positive ROI in a reasonable time, or is not ‘open and interoperable’, causing vendor lock-in. TC What’s the best thing about your location?OSS The ability to build a great team of capable people and make a difference by helping our customers to succeed on the national and international stage.TC Without giving away valuable IP – what do you think is the secret to your success?OSS Simply put, it’s our people and their abilities, coupled with an enabling and empowering environment.