Financial management and business software developer Systems Union is looking to boost its local reseller presence in order to further its growth in Australia.
To help it do so the company has appointed a new indirect channels manager. Neville Dredge comes to Systems Union from his previous role as general manager at business systems developer AdLogic, but will now be working to spread the word on its SunSystems product.
Systems Union currently has 60 per cent of its sales through its 15 "SunCentre" channel organisations in Australasia. Six of these companies only joined the fold in the last six months, but Dredge said he is keen to see further growth of 100 per cent in the next year, especially in vertical markets.
"That's really my aim, to get those SunCentres involved in vertical market development," said Dredge. "We're looking at organisations that are prepared to commit to us and our software, and we will provide the resources to make sure that their businesses are successful."
Indeed, Systems Union's Australian operations have claimed at least two local success stories. Vision for SunSystems is a database decision support tool that was originally developed by WA-based reseller Lasata, but is now bundled with the majority of Systems Union sales worldwide. Likewise, Sydney-based SunCentre Professional Advantage has had success with its Bank Reconciliation product. Another SunCentre, Parramatta-based Intellisol, is developing an advertising model as a front end to Systems Union's general ledger accounting module.
"We encourage companion products so that we can add value to our own core product," said Dredge. "It sets a really good image of what potential there is from a SunCentre."
Speaking of the success of Lasata, Dredge said: "That's been a progressive development. They obviously saw an opportunity for a proper GUI based decision support tool some time ago, and they jumped on the opportunity to develop those products.
"They put a lot of resources into it, and its now a very nice product," said Dredge. "And they obviously realised that there was a base out there right now which they could exploit - not only future sites but an installed base - and they've never looked back."
Dredge says Systems Union is keen to actively assist its SunCentres in growing their business. "We ask them from a pre-sales point of view how they want us to get involved - do they want us to be part of a presentation procedure? Do you want our account managers to actually go out in the field with you?"
Dredge says most are more than willing to closely partner with Systems Union. "Some of them have opened that gate and asked how deep do we want to go?
"But based on that there has to be a level of commitment to Systems Union, because if we're going to invest in them then we're going to need a reasonable return on our investment." Indeed, Dredge says Systems Union spends $1.5 million annually on marketing, pre-sales, sales and post-sales support for its Australasian SunCentres.