electionz.com Gets What We All Strive For

electionz.com Gets What We All Strive For

electionz-Testimonial-page

“We gave Stratos our trust and they have rewarded us with responsiveness and reliability. Our relationship with Stratos is the kind of relationship we aspire to in our relationships with our own clients.”
Steve Kilpatrick, Managing Director, electionz.com Ltd

electionz.com first engaged Stratos Technology Partners to develop an online voting platform. Since then, Stratos’s deep understanding of electionz.com’s operations, and pro-active and responsive customer service, has become a business-to-business relationship marked by trust.

electionz.com gets the vote

electionz.com provides election management services for local governments, power trusts, cooperatives, schools and Maori Iwis. In 2014 alone, it handled 130 elections. Clients come to the company for its expertise, to avoid the disruptive influence associated with an election, and to provide independence.

For example, local government elections are usually only held every three years. Regulations need to be reviewed and documentation revised, printed and distributed. Teams need to be formed and processes re-invented, rehearsed and executed. Hiring electionz.com avoids all that.

The issues being resolved in an election can also be highly sensitive. electionz.com is often brought in to add independence and credibility to the process, such as when, during the treaty settlement process between the Crown and an Iwi, a series of elections must be run to first ratify the settlement and then elect a Board of Trustees with whom the Crown will settle.

“Understandably all the stakeholders – the Government, trustees, the people of New Zealand and members of the Iwi – want the election process to be independent and credible,” said Steve Kilpatrick, electionz.com’s Managing Director.

A voting platform to build on

At one stage, the company was a subsidiary of an American firm operating out of Long Island, New York. Back in 2001, the parent company developed software to accommodate the custom requirements for each client.

A couple of years later, Steve Kilpatrick acquired the New Zealand business and set out to build a voting platform that could be configured to accommodate any election client without writing code each time.

“We chose to outsource the development of the online voting platform because we didn’t have the expertise in-house. I didn’t think that kind of expertise would be needed all the time and I felt that it was important to get someone in that lived and breathed the stuff.

“It’s the very same reason why people hire us.”

Stratos gets electionz.com’ vote

At one stage, the company was a subsidiary of an American firm. Back in 2001, the parent company developed software for each client to accommodate each’s custom requirements.

A few years later, Kilpatrick acquired the New Zealand business and set out to build a voting platform that could accommodate any client’s election without writing code each time.

“We outsourced the development of the online voting platform because we didn’t have the expertise in-house. I didn’t think that kind of expertise would always be needed and I felt it was important to get someone in who lived and breathed the stuff. It’s the very same reason why people hire us.”

Kilpatrick hired Stratos to build an online voting platform that supports both First Past the Post and Single Transferable Vote voting systems. There’s also a suite of business rules to handle exceptions such as partially completed forms.

"Stratos keep up to speed with the latest technologies, and so far I haven’t been able to stump them."
Steve Kilpatrick, electionz.com Ltd

Independent auditors don’t faze Stratos

“Stratos also handle our networking requirements. I thought that what we needed would be quite challenging to setup because it involved 140 PCs, six servers and a number of back up servers too. Stratos amazed me by liaising directly with our suppliers to ensure we got what we required and that everything worked as expected.

“We voluntarily put ourselves through an audit so that our clients can have confidence in our systems. We pay a large audit firm to ask tough questions. Sometimes Stratos tells them what questions they should be asking. They are so on top of their game.”

"It’s very reassuring to see someone we’re paying to ask tough questions, receiving answers from Stratos that exceed what they wanted. It gives me even more confidence in my relationship with Stratos."
Steve Kilpatrick, electionz.com Ltd

Fast response wins confidence

“Sometimes our clients come to us with unusual requests. Even though we ask for plenty of warning, often this isn’t possible. It consequently puts on a lot of pressure to ensure the new feature can be available in time.

“Stratos have given us the responsiveness we need, and it doesn’t matter where in the world they are. One of the team working on our project was even temporarily based in the UK.

“Success is measured by whether the work Stratos does for us, works; and if it works within the tight timeframes involved. With past suppliers, software can be full of bugs and you wonder whether it’s ever been tested. That’s never the case with Stratos.”

Independent auditors don’t faze Stratos

“We voluntarily put ourselves through an audit so our clients have confidence in our systems. We pay a large audit firm to ask tough questions. Sometimes Stratos tells them what questions to ask. Stratos are so on top of their game.

“It’s very reassuring that someone we’re paying to ask tough questions receives answers from Stratos that exceed what they want. It gives me even more confidence in them.”

Capable of so much more

“Stratos are good at getting something designed and built. They are also capable of so much more.

“For example, when local government elections roll around, we need to hire 140 PCs. I thought what we needed would be challenging to set up because it also involved six servers and a number of back-up servers. Stratos amazed me by liaising directly with our suppliers to ensure we got what we required and that everything worked as expected.

“On another occasion, Stratos let me know the heartbeat monitor had detected that our email server had locked up and they had contacted our data centre to have the server rebooted.

“This demonstrated their understanding of our business and their high standard of commitment to us.”