The scramble by traditional direct-selling enterprise solution vendors for indirect channel relationships continues apace as Candle yesterday announced it had acquired local systems integrator Somerset Systems.
Chris Stockton, Somerset's Asia-Pacific director, application integration services, said moving to a position under the umbrella of Candle will allow it to expand more rapidly into the growing e-commerce market than it would have been able to under its own steam.
Stockton said Somerset Systems was set up seven years ago as a services company which deals in three spaces -- "electronic commerce, workflow and messaging, and legacy integration". It will retain its name with the adjunct "a division of Candle Corporation" and will continue to use its trademarked "e2e, end-to-end business solutions".
"We now have the ability to integrate systems and businesses in order to deliver business over an extranet or over the Internet and that is where we see the greatest opportunities here in Australia," said Stockton.
"If there is one stymie to the broad adoption of electronic commerce it is the fact that most back-end systems are not ready for the front-end systems that are available."
He said that is where Somerset will be concentrating its growth strategies.
Stockton didn't reveal financial details of the acquisition but confirmed that Somerset had also been negotiating with other local and offshore companies. Candle was the best fit for future growth, he said.
Previously 50 per cent owned by integrator ComTech, it employed 35 staff and generated $4.5 million in annual revenues when taken over by Candle. The development and servicing of customised enterprise applications for large corporates has been its core competency.
No staff will lose their jobs, in fact personnel resources will be expanded, according to Stockton. He also said customers -- which include many of Australia's big corporate names -- were pleased and congratulatory of the development.
"Our growth numbers are aggressive over the next couple of years," he said. "We are expecting to grow 75-100 per cent in terms of staff and revenues over that period."