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People make the difference

Managed services provider Advantage continues its upwards trajectory with the recent hire of Naas Nell to the position of Service Delivery Manager in its rapidly expanding Cyber Security division. With strong demand for cybersecurity in a perennially risky online environment, Nell joins a team adept at securing the data estates of Advantage customers nationwide.

Advantage MD Brad Pearpoint says despite a softening economy and looming recession, cybersecurity remains a non-negotiable aspect of every organisation’s technology requirements. “Cybercrime isn’t going out of fashion. However, many organisations are looking for more efficient and more cost-effective solutions to keep their data and systems safe. As a result, we are expecting heightened demand for managed security services which offer flexibility, make top-tier skills more widely available, and which leverage the latest technologies.”

He welcomes Nell to the team. “The key differentiator in achieving secure systems isn’t the technology or even the process, both of which are repeatable components within the security framework. Instead, it is people. Naas brings a wealth of experience across all aspects of the channel and holds a degree in business. His combination of commercial experience with technical insight complements our team to the advantage of all our customers.”

A recent arrival in New Zealand, Nell hails from South Africa where he started his career in information technology more than two decades ago. Initially working as an IT manager, Nell spent two years as Vendor Relationship Manager for a software company then another four at a solutions provider. Moving to the vendor side of the fence, Nell worked with IBM as a product manager before going into distribution for several years as an HPE business development manager. This led to a stint with vendor Lenovo’s Enterprise Group as distribution manager.

His executive experience includes a stint as managing director for solution provider Rizen Technologies, before moving back into distribution with AWS as Business and Partner Lead.

Describing himself as a technology enthusiast, Nell says his career has gone full circle in the industry. “I’ve enjoyed working with end customers, resellers, distribution, and vendor environments, resulting in a start-to-finish understanding of the ICT channel,” he notes. “Across it all, I’m driven by a keen interest in using technology as an enabler improving businesses and individual quality of life.”

His words to live by are drawn from Amazon entrepreneur Jeff Bezos: ‘A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.’

Observing that even the slightest hiccup in IT infrastructure can derail operations for any organisation, Nell says that with cyber-crime on the rise in New Zealand vigilance is advisable. “Nearly a third of companies having experienced a cyber-attack in the past two years at an eye-watering cost to business of $250 million. Good security is essential regardless of the state of the economy; a key value in the Advantage security team is providing quality service so our customers can focus on their core business with the confidence that their ICT environments are safe with minimised risk.”

Pleased to be in the country and equally enthused at joining an ambitious and growing company, Nell points to cultural alignment as a driving factor for both. “Advantage has customer satisfaction as one of its key drivers, a focus essential for success in a competitive industry. And New Zealand offers the opportunity for families to live their best lives, with stunning scenery, friendly people, vibrant culture, and a dynamic business outlook. I am fortunate to have this opportunity and will make the most of it.”

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