NZ Trade Centre


The New Zealand Trade Centre (NZTC), a trade promotions company launched 17 years ago, is dedicated to creating new opportunities for New Zealand exporters and importers.

Alister Gates, CEO, NZTC, had been in the door six months and already the place had undergone massive change and growth.

"Our vision is to create a centre of excellence for New Zealand exporters and expand the services currently provided"
Alister Gates, CEO, NZTC

The project begun with a complete rebuild, including a new world class trade display centre and a business hotdesk space called the 'Ingenuity Business Centre' - it is here that kiwi companies have a place to 'touch-down' in Auckland and make the most of the resources and technology NZTC offers.

The Challenge

Expanding the organisation called for an upgrade in new technology for the NZTC as the company soon found it was limited by its legacy technology. The outdated PBX could handle the eight staff using it previously, but now with 12 staff onboard and the launch of the 'Ingenuity Business Centre' the telecommunications systems needed an overhaul.

At any given time up to 40 businesses will be in the new 'Ingenuity Business Centre' accessing hot desks, meeting rooms and cutting edge conference facilities - for a day, a week or longer. The telecommunications system needed to be able to scale rapidly to meet the changing demands.

It wasn't just a case of simply adding more phones. The NZTC needed to have the ability to offer exporters a place where a phone number could be established for


them instantly, answered in their name and housed at an Auckland address. With the amount of travel required in the export business they also need to be able to switch their entire communications mobile in an instant.

Gates is creating a virtual office space, one where businesses can plug in and simply work with all the technology, expertise and support provided. As there would be no in-house IT department, it was vital any new telco solution needed to be managed by the provider and the response time be critical.

With an array of modern telecommunications about to be on offer to NZTC clients, one final part of the challenge was 'checking out'. Similar to leaving a hotel the NZTC required a system that could instantly realise the costs of the client's usage in the office space, everything from landline and mobile calls to internet and video conferencing.

The Solution

Attempting all of this with the outdated PBX was not only costly and complicated but it would not offer the functionality to support the new business model.

The solution, was VoIP... 

"The new technology, where the world is going."
Alister Gates, CEO, NZTC

Vocus Communications, NZTC's "trusted provider", proposed a solution that would bring together the benefits of VoIP and outsourcing. The Vocus product Connect was recommended as it is perfect for small to medium businesses looking for a fully scalable telecommunications system capable of supporting 4 to 100 plus staff.

Vocus Connect is a fully managed, hosted IP PBX solution that offers the latest PBX capabilities without significant upfront investment. The solution includes lines, quality VoIP feature rich desk phones (including voicemail, call forwarding and three way calling) and a dedicated internet connection.

The transition to the new Vocus VoIP solution was managed completely by the Vocus Project Management team, alleviating the need for the client to project manage and giving Gates the piece of mind to focus on the bigger task ahead - the relaunch.

The Results

Now as the NZTC is counting down to opening the doors to what is truly a world class facility there is a telco solution in place that provides the tools to offer outstanding services to its clients.

The Vocus solution is one that offers the instant scalability to support both the comings and goings of the clientele and the changing business needs. It gives the NZTC the ability to pay on a per user, per month basis, with little up front cost. It can grow from a few to hundreds of handsets with no costly phone system upgrade. New sites and users can be added as the need arises.

The self-service portal give the NZTC direct control over basic administrative tasks, including moving and adding lines - the changes are done via a simple web interface. While being a managed solution the team at Vocus constantly monitor the telecommunications environment and can intervene immediately when necessary. The solution also relieves NZTC from managing premise based telephone equipment as it is fully maintained by Vocus.

Gates says this was the key when considering the options.

"We wanted a solution with minimal up front expenditure and looked to someone who could manage not only the implementation process but the system ongoing. Vocus took ownership. They are hands-on and managed the entire process."
Alister Gates, CEO, NZTC

Combined with the Vocus product Visibill - an online reporting tool - Visibill gives the NZTC transparency of real time reporting costs allowing clients utilising the centre to be on-charged instantly.

What has left a lasting impression on Gates is the simplicity at which the tranistion has happened and that they now have a system that can be tailored to suit business in an instant. "VoIP and managed services, is still a bit of the unknown really. But I believe it is the wa of the future, to outsource everything. It works for us, perfectly!

"We make, grow and build some pretty amazing things in this country and it is my privilege every day to talk to our exporters about their wonderful products and services. Now we can rest assured they can connect with the people they need to."


*NZTC were originally serviced by CallPlus Business Services. In July 2017, CallPlus rebranded to Vocus Communications.