Client Case Study: The opportunity to create something new



In September 2020, Contact and Simply Energy joined forces to create New Zealand’s first, and only, dedicated energy solutions provider to the commercial and industrial sectors.

While the two companies had a shared vision to accelerate the transition to cleaner energy, they had a big job ahead, creating a single IT system to enable them to operate seamlessly and deliver on their ambitious vision.

For Hema Pericherla, who’d spent the previous ten years in IT roles at Contact, taking on the role of Chief Technology Officer at Simply Energy was an opportunity to create something new.

“Moving to a smaller company meant many of the bigger systems we’d be used to wouldn’t be the right fit. In addition, our new IT systems needed to be as agile as we are and respond and adapt quickly to our evolving needs.

“Since we needed to create a new IT system, we looked at potential vendors who could support us.

“We knew we wanted to partner with a company that shared our vision and could help us move quickly to deliver solutions for our people and customers.

They also had to be a good cultural fit – proactive, agile, and quick to respond, with a get on and do it attitude.”

Hiros in the thick of Azure.jpg

This led Hema to a conversation with a colleague who recommended “this guy” who used to help him, someone he described as talented, quick, and clever.

“When I picked up the phone to give Ryan from Both Brains a call, it was refreshing to be asked questions about us before hearing anything about them. He wanted to know what we did, what we needed, and most importantly, what we didn’t. He was the only one from all the companies we reached out to who asked.

A few emails later, Ryan came back with a range of options and a plan tailored to our needs."

“When they came and presented to us, it was obvious that Both Brains were our kind of company. They shared our values and genuinely wanted to help us deliver our vision.”

Both Brains Solutions

“There were lots of moving parts working alongside the new team at Simply,” says Both Brains’ General Manager Jenni Powell. “Having a clear understanding of what was needed from the team at Simply, and a willingness to collaborate, we quickly worked through all the usual challenges.

“Because their business is very proactive and forward-thinking, they wanted an IT partner to relate to that. In addition, they liked the idea of our smaller, nimbler team.”

Now supporting 77 staff at Simply, Both Brains is the ‘eyes and ears’ of everything IT after an exciting initial 18 months.

“Key to the success of creating seamless operations for Simply,” says Hema, “is their onboarding process where they took the time to learn about our business and requirements”.

“We had a lot to tackle with the decommissioning and setting up of new systems,” says Jenni, “including migrating significant volumes of data, decommissioning servers, and moving our on-site workload to Azure.

“We set up new laptops for staff, built new firewalls and networking hardware for all sites, delivered a seamless G-Suite to Office 365 migration, and set up guest access to Teams for clients and vendors.

“We also set up a new company-wide phone system and PureCloud replacement, deployed Azure Virtual Desktops for Crystal Ball and BYOD and built a client portal that gives Simply’s staff a better overview of outstanding work and streamlines support for common requests.

Both Brain’s Managing Director, Ryan Howard, says he’s proud of the collaborative way the companies have worked together.

“We’ve done by far the most projects for Simply because they’re open to new ideas, are forward-thinking and want to try new things.

“This is a true partnership, and while we conduct quarterly reviews, their leadership team knows there’s always an open line of communication between me, our general manager Jenni Powell and our team members.”

An ongoing journey

Eighteen months into their professional partnership and Hema says the Both Brains team continues to be genuinely interested in the Simply business, are constantly looking for ways to improve and have maintained a great relationship at operational, strategic and people and business connections levels.

“From the very beginning, Both Brains gave us 200% even when they were trying to deal with some situations that were out of their control.

“I remember a staff member who said they had an issue with their computer, left a message with Both Brains, went to make a tea and their phone was buzzing before they’d even finished. People weren’t used to getting that level of service!

“Even though they work remotely, they’ve embedded themselves so much in our business that I feel they’re team members. The experience has just been amazing.”


Hema fully appreciates the proactive nature of the relationship.

“Our 0800 number was part of a phone system but Both Brains found us an alternative that was half the cost, simple to use, and chosen to fit the size of our company.

“Azure is a huge part of our migration to cloud strategy and while it continues to evolve it’s something I really value.

“I love working with the team and this is a really complimentary relationship.

“We appreciate Both Brains being a sounding board for Sean, our internal lead, and the personal feedback from our staff has always been positive.”