2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Stellar Consulting Group, New Zealand’s leading independent consultancy for business intelligence, or in today’s preferred parlance: data analytics.
The company was founded by a small group of IT and BI professionals who believed they could offer New Zealand businesses something rare: a holistic approach to analytics tailored to each customer’s needs, with deep engagement to maximise each project’s chances of success.
Grant Broadbent, Managing Director, had spent 28 years specialising in large computer systems, working in a wide range of consulting and sales roles for NCR/Teradata, Oracle, Prism Solutions and EMC. Since the late 1980s he had been involved in selling and delivering data warehousing solutions in the telecommunications, financial services, and retail sectors.
Travis Barker, Consulting Partner, had cut his teeth at Capgemini and HP, providing Business Intelligence services to some of New Zealand’s biggest and most successful organisations in the utilities, insurance, banking and local government sectors. A passionate rugby player for a good part of his life, he had recently hung up his boots to spend more time with his young family, doing long-distance trail running, and helping to run Stellar.
John McDermott, Consulting Partner, brought extensive experience in designing, building and managing Business Intelligence solutions. He had held senior consulting and project management positions with Capgemini, HP, Fonterra and Telecom, and had also worked in various BI roles in the UK and Asia. A keen competitor, John had represented New Zealand in rowing at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.
Stellar’s first customer was Vitaco, formed through the merger of Nutra-Life and Healtheries. Stellar helped the new company amalgamate its two legacy ERP systems.
“That was 2008, in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis,” recalls Grant. “CFOs were being tasked with reducing costs and keep an eye on margins, and our approach at Stellar was to help CFOs tackle problems.”
“It was exciting starting a company,” John remembers. “We started low-risk, as we knew there was a strong contract market we could operate in, and we didn’t need to invest a lot of money. But soon we had to make some important decisions, such as moving to our own offices and hiring staff.”
The first hire, in 2009, was Chris Du Toit, who is now Stellar’s CTO.
By the end of 2012, the team had grown to 25 staff and contractors. Needing more space, Stellar moved into its current offices on the 21st floor of the SAP building in Queen Street, Auckland.
Stellar added a Wellington office in 2013 and soon it too needed larger premises. An office in Tauranga was established to support Stellar’s expanding work with Trustpower.
Stellar’s approach to helping medium-to-large New Zealand businesses was embodied in its Seven Essentials of BI Success which remains a cornerstone of all our projects.
“We knew that there were opportunities in the Business Intelligence space, but also knew that it could be done differently,” says John.
Early customers – including Fonterra, Vitaco, Trustpower and Toyota – have developed into long-term relationships, and Stellar is now honoured to work with the who’s who of New Zealand businesses across a range of industries.