NorthWest Digital steps into virtualization

NorthWest Digital, a Winnipeg-based network integration company and reseller that offers services in systems integration, consulting, service and support, is expanding its vendor partnerships to better leverage its work in market areas such as the virtualization space.

Stan Wiebe, the president and manager of sales and operations at NorthWest Digital, said the company has been in business since 1980 and is owned and operated by Mycroft Business Computers Inc., which is a franchise operation under the chain, Hartco Enterprises. NorthWest Digital, he said, focuses primarily on small and medium-sized businesses, in addition to a few targeted markets which include the municipal government, credit unions, healthcare, and child and family services. Wiebe said the company serves clients there, in rural Manitoba and in Northwest Ontario. Wiebe says the company has no plans on extending its reach any further.

With a staff size of 13 employees, Wiebe said NorthWest Digital has a customer list of about 1,000, of which, he said, about 200 are consistently active within a 12-month period.

The company’s partnership with MuniWare, a Morinville, Alta.-based vendor of financial software solutions for municipalities across Western Canada helps give NorthWest Digital an edge over other resellers who also work in the same regions, Wiebe said.

“We have exclusive rights to sell MuniWare products in Manitoba,” Wiebe said. “That’s an aspect that differentiates us from other resellers here.”

In addition to its services and network integration business offerings, Wiebe said NorthWest Digital also stocks and sells hardware such as notebooks, desktops, and printer supplies, as well as sells software from vendors which include, HP, Microsoft, IBM and Lenovo, to name a few. The company’s solution offerings range from areas like security to load balancing to disaster recovery and voice over IP (VoIP) products.

“We do a fairly generic thing with network integration, we find that once customers give us a chance, we have the ability to retain them,” he said. “What it boils down to is our relationships with our customers and our motto of getting the job and support done right every time.”

As part of its strategic growth plan, Wiebe said NorthWest Digital has recognized that virtualization has become a popular and necessary technology solution for its customers. To help address these market needs, Wiebe said the company is currently working to establish relationships with vendors such as Citrix and VMware.

“I find this business is very difficult to plan ahead for,” Wiebe said. “For this year, we’re focused on looking for trends and reacting to them. The focus is always on our customers and listening to them to find out what their needs are.”

Wiebe also said he sees software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions as a potential upcoming growth opportunity for the company as well.

“I’m free to admit that I don’t know how SaaS will quite affect the reseller channel,” he said. “But I think it’s something that I’ll have to look at and become more aware of in the next little while,” he added.

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
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