Today Provoke Solutions Ltd announced that it has established a
presence in the United States with the opening of its Seattle branch and
the appointment of its first U.S. based employee.
This expansion is in line with Provoke's well publicised
international growth strategy. In November 2010 Provoke CEO Mason Pratt
announced plans to take their successful Kiwi brand offshore and his 5
year vision for '5 offices on 3 continents'.
"Since our early days we have held strong ambition to become
an international Kiwi company" says Pratt. "New Zealand needs more
global businesses to help it grow and prosper, and we are determined to
be a part of that".
The registration of the Seattle office is a significant
milestone towards achieving Provoke's vision and represents office
number three on a second continent. They are also well advanced in
developing a presence in South-East Asia and hope to make a similar
announcement in early 2012.
U.S. employee #1 is Chris Johnson, an ex-pat Kiwi, 9 year
Microsoft veteran, and one of the world's leading SharePoint experts.
Most recently Johnson held the role of Senior Technical Product Manager
on the SharePoint product team at Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond,
Washington. His recruitment is a major coup for the company who pride
themselves on employing the 'cream' of the industry's talent.
"Chris joining Provoke further cements Provoke's position as
one of the world's leading SharePoint development and integration
specialists. We are proud and delighted to have him joining the team"
Johnson has recently finished running the U.S. SharePoint Conference 2011 in Anaheim, California for over 7500 attendees.
"I'm really honoured and excited to be leading Provoke's U.S.
expansion. It's fantastic to be bringing the Kiwi 'can do' attitude
here. The U.S. market loves our approach and attitude to problem solving
and I am really looking forward to growing the business and bringing
export dollars back to NZ.
I've worked with Provoke a lot over the years and have
enjoyed watching them develop into New Zealand's premier Microsoft
partner and a SharePoint powerhouse. They are constantly seeking to
innovate and push SharePoint's boundaries and the opportunity to be part
of this is too good to pass up. I am really looking forward to becoming
one of the Provoke animals (as Provoke staff refer to themselves)."
U.S. customer #1 is also on board but details are not able to be released yet.
The next 6 months will see the team in Seattle grow, with a
combination of Kiwi and local employees working to grow Provoke's U.S.
footprint. Plans to have 12-15 staff on the ground within 12 months
further demonstrate the aggressive growth objectives Provoke's
management team have set themselves.
"We're serious about this" says Pratt. "The U.S. is a big
market and we are not taking it lightly. We are looking to create scale
fast and quickly grow our presence."
To gain extra support Provoke have approached New Zealand
Trade & Enterprise regarding the Beachhead programme, which will
ideally provide access to contacts, resources and local expertise. Mason
Pratt has talked to a number of companies who have successfully engaged
the Beachhead team and is encouraged with the positive feedback. "I'm
looking forward to what could result in a very successful partnership
between Provoke and the New Zealand Government." says Pratt.
The announcement of Chris Johnson's addition to the Provoke
team coincides with another strategic hire in New Zealand. Alan Marshall
is one of the country's leading SharePoint specialists and has recently
signed up with the Provoke Auckland team. Marshall's reasons for his
move to Provoke were based on the recognition Provoke have for
delivering quality SharePoint solutions backed by a highly skilled and
"Their strong relationship with Microsoft, only strengthened
by opening an office in Seattle and contributions to the developer
community, provide them with both access to the latest technologies and
skilled people to deliver outcomes for their customers." says Marshall.
"Alan's imminent arrival will again bolster our capability in
the SharePoint space given his reputation in the New Zealand market.
Alan has been recognised as a Microsoft New Zealand's 'Virtual Technical
Solution Specialist' (VTSP) for SharePoint, which is testament to his
skill and experience. There are only two SharePoint VTSPs in New
Zealand. This will certainly help to ensure Provoke remains as the #1
SharePoint shop in New Zealand" says Pratt.
Founded in 2001 with the mission to create compelling and
valuable web experiences, Provoke Solutions has become a world leader in
online development, mobile solutions and experience design consultancy.
Provoke has a rich pedigree in design-led software
development and have core competencies in; portals and collaboration,
content management, search, mobile, cloud applications, unified
communications and business intelligence. They offer the full suite of
services, from strategic consulting, through to design, development and
A long-term Microsoft Gold partner, in 2011 Provoke's
industry-leading work and commitment to innovation were rewarded with
being named as Microsoft Country Partner of the Year for New Zealand.
Provoke has 65 staff worldwide with offices in Wellington, Auckland and Seattle.