ARN: How was your company started?
Snow: We started off providing accounting software solutions in the small-to-medium business market, with the appropriate hardware to go with it. The networking developed essentially because with accounting software the demand was for multi-user usage and that was done through multi-user DOS type solutions.
Then Novell came along very quickly. We were providing Novell operating software as the means by which multi-user accounting could be accomplished and out of that grew the other common business applications that can take advantage of a network's data and print server abilities.
I'm an accountant by trade and found that accounting lacked a challenge and the state of change with accounting was moderate. So I took the skill set I had and applied it in the computing arena with an accounting orientation.
What products and services does your company offer?
We offer quite a few services on the networking side of the business. We offer network design and consulting services to meet the standard requirements of organisations.
This includes offering a total solution from project management through to the implementation, provision of the relevant hardware and software, and the ongoing support of the solutions.
What proportion of your business is services as opposed to hardware?
Services are becoming a growing proportion of our business. Currently, 20 per cent is services, in terms of turnover.
We're also involved with some major vendors as a partner, for example NEC, and are very much involved with them in some of their large projects.
Where do you see your business going?
Well, I think as the world becomes more and more Internet-enabled, with the implementation of more applications, there is a demand for organisations to make it all work. And that's a role we see Commercial Solutions fulfilling. This is in terms of providing the technical skills from our resources to implement the various applications and technologies.
There is a convergence of communications; for example, voice communications with computer networks, and we see ourselves playing quite a key role in that area.
What are the company's key business strengths?
They would be having a very strong customer focus and our resolve to conquer customer problems and to undertake business with integrity.
Also, to maintain very strong partnerships with vendors and to build our human resources skills through ongoing training and a team environment.
What areas of technology are you keeping a close watch on?
Some of the areas we are keeping a close watch on are voice and data networks, and obviously the Internet. This includes computer file servers that can deliver both networking and PABX capabilities.
We are also looking at e-commerce developments on the Internet, such as the integration of accounting software with these solutions.
How are you responding to these developments?
We are working with some vendors on these fronts. We are also undertaking additional training for our staff in these areas.
In addition, we are communicating with our customers to find out how they can benefit out of these newer technologies.
How would you describe your company's management approach?
We have a very flat management structure. It works by people having defined roles in their areas, which makes communication within the organisation good. People in various departments are still aware of developments of the company in other areas.
What does the future hold?
We envisage some good growth. We opened a Melbourne branch this year and we see some excellent growth qpportunities there, which hopefully will replicate the work we've done in New South Wales.
We're also looking to further expand into Brisbane next year so that we can provide a service to customers across the whole east coast of Australia.
We think we can deploy new technologies with our customer base and future customers in a responsive manner that will allow us to build the business.profileCommercial SolutionsHead office: Chatswood, NSWEstablished: 1987Staff: 30Turnover: $12-15 millionGrowth: 25 per cent per annumServices: Networking and system integration, accounting softwarehttp://www.comsol.com.au