The job description could read: magician wanted… one that can “pull rabbits out of the hat”, preferably day and night. What’s that got to do with cars, trucks and the technology required to keep the business rubber on the road for Blackwell Motors and its sister company Arthur Burke?

A whole lot it turns out. The two companies have found BTG can deliver IT magic.

As Steve Grenfell, Blackwell’s chief executive, says: “Our business is built on customer service and having an IT partner with the same ethos makes for a great relationship.”

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Blackwell’s holds franchises for the Holden, HSV, Isuzu and Mazda brands and operates three large workshops, a fourth for Police work, and a paint and panel business in Christchurch.


The Blackwell's Isuzu sales operation has recently expanded to Ashburton. Arthur Burke in Amberley, north of Christchurch, has Holden parts and service and a Suzuki motorcycle dealership. It also has a Bridgestone Tyre Centre and a Hammer Hardware store with a service branch located further north in Waikari.

The Waikari branch has had a recent part in the BTG story. Craig Schroder, Arthur Burke’s general manager, says Waikari is the first in the wider businesses that BTG has changed to a 3CX phone system.

Schroder says the 3CX phone system works well and he will be looking to BTG to install it at Amberley as soon as the internet speeds are up to it.

“BTG’s Ryan (Cox) keeps us going day and night,” Schroder says. “Apart from his quick service what I like is he explains technology in layman’s terms. If Ryan is not able to come to us, he has me on the phone and suggests I try this or that to fix that small, but immediate problem. When you can ring your support day and night and get help like that it’s fantastic.”


BTG works across a range of applications and services and provides hardware including:

  • Laptops and all the system software including Autoline (Blackwell’s dealership management system)
  • Workshop technology including multiple diagnostic tools
  • Cloud storage
  • Cybersecurity
  • Phone systems
  • Integrated camera systems
  • Internet connections
  • Private Cloud Hosting
  • Managed Services
  • Wide Area Network (WAN)

After a couple of decades of working with Blackwell’s and more recently Arthur Burke, Ryan and his BTG colleagues know their systems inside and out. As BTG has designed or specified and installed them, BTG has that institutional knowledge well documented.

Now BTG is leading those companies to the cloud:

“Blackwell’s is like a lot of New Zealand businesses that want to migrate from in-house servers to the cloud, but a bit nervous about how those many moving parts are going to land and function,” Ryan says.

Steve McCully, Blackwell’s financial controller, says the move to the cloud started mid-2019, but required a major upgrade to the business’ fibre connection first. Enable Networks’ scope was overseen by BTG and then COVID-19 came along.

“During Alert Level 4 (lockdown) an employee found an overseas product that integrated with Autoline and would make the workshops run more efficiently. However, to adopt that we first had to introduce it to our Autoline supplier and migrate to the latest version of Autoline.""

Wayne McLellan, Blackwell’s groups parts manager, says what made it more complicated is that Autoline is maintained by another service provider and BTG is the liaison between that provider, the ISP and Blackwell’s.

“We have a great working relationship. Any system outages and they’re on to it straight away,” McLellan says.

A key aspect McCully, with his money hat on, appreciates about BTG is its proactive approach.

“BTG monitors our systems and anticipates potential issues before they become a big problem,” McCully says. “BTG has helped us too with making sure our systems are protected from phishing scams or other cyberattacks.”

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BTG is a New Zealand-based technology service provider creating better connections for growing businesses here and across the ditch. With 80+ staff and 400+ customers across New Zealand and Australia, BTG specialises in expert engineering expertise, quality IT products and dedicated account management.

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