Traditional direct dealing financial systems and data mining vendor Computron Software wants to get into bed with the channel to leverage opportunities being created for enterprise integrators by the new GST.
Peter Bisset, Computron's Asia-Pacific director, sales and marketing, said the company's COOL iMergence product has the potential to tackle many of the problems being created by Australia's tax reporting changes next year and the adoption of a GST.
The window of opportunity to extract revenues from this opportunity is short, however, and it will probably be a mad rush in Q2 next year after Y2K preparations and clean-ups have been completed but before August 21 when the first GST-inclusive tax returns are due.
COOL iMergence is a data mining and collation product capable of collecting data from disparate sources before merging it for customised analysis and reporting without requiring expensive detailed architecture penetration. This process is about creating an enterprise information portal, giving an organisation a total view of all its information systems through a single interface.
Of all the ERP and CRM solutions sold into enterprises recently, Bisset doubts many have been implemented to deal with the impact of the GST and other changes to the way businesses report to the tax office. The GST will impact every business with an annual turnover of more than $50,000.
"There are some big challenges for organisations as the GST approaches and they have to look across the board at their operations to see what the implications are," Bisset said. "That is what the channel does so well.
"The channel has the closest relationships with many of the customers facing these issues. It has the knowledge and understanding of customers' business practices and methodologies. That insight is essential to adequately address all the potential problems."
Computron is looking for resellers already delivering enterprise solutions who would like to be able to use iMergence's reporting capabilities as a GST reporting solution value add.
Under government tax reforms, from July 1, 2000 every corporation with an annual turnover of $20 million or more will be required to present a monthly Business Activity Statement (BAS) electronically. This will include details of all varied tax-related activities and liabilities for the previous month as well as any remittance due.
Very few corporates are ready for the diverse impact of these reforms in the pay-as-you-go environment, according to Bisset. And because the Australian GST is unique, he is unaware of any similar products that have been used as add-ons to existing enterprise systems.
He cited one example in travel and entertainment employee expenses where many receipts will not give a GST breakdown but for which GST will often be eligible as a corporate input credit. If not identified and reported in the BAS, these expenses will not be recovered.
"We want to identify channel partners who would be prepared to join with Computron to attack this problem," Bisset said. "It needs to be a well organised and focused campaign because it has a deadline of August 20, 2000.
"We have an ideal tool to sit over the top of all the various information sources and allow customers to assemble all the data required to complete these Business Activity Statements," he said.
"We need partners to deliver the electronic lodgment capability and finalise a channel distribution arrangement to take advantage of this opportunity.
"I am not aware of any company that is geared up for this but our own market research has indicated there is plenty of interest in this sort of solution."