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Queensland software companies band up to claim back billions in revenue

  • 30 July, 2004 11:25

<p>Software Queensland created to strengthen the local software development industry, and improve its economic impact.</p>
<p>Brisbane, July 29, 2004 – Queensland software development companies have banded together in a formal group launched today, Software Queensland Inc., to raise the profile of locally developed software products and to strengthen the businesses behind them.</p>
<p>Chaired by Dr Paul Campbell (Chief Executive Officer, icemedia), with prominent business leaders such as Chris Gorry (CEO, Advanced Data Integration), Kon Kakanis, (Executive Director, Sundata), John Puttick (CEO, GBST) and David Barbagallo (Executive Vice President, Solutions Development, Mincom) on its executive, Software Queensland hopes to reclaim for local companies a large percentage of the billions of dollars spent on imports of foreign products by government and business in Australia.</p>
<p>“The Queensland and Federal governments spend millions of dollars of tax payers’ money with overseas software companies, when the expertise and software to do the job is readily available from Australian companies,” said Campbell.</p>
<p>“The simple fact of the matter is that the innovation and ingenuity of Australian software companies has proven itself in the global marketplace with a long list of success stories. If we received even a fraction of the government assistance given to the likes of the sugar and car industries we could take on the world – in fact we already do.”</p>
<p>The Queensland Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry directly employs 56,000 people across 3,700 businesses with total annual revenues of $14.6 billion. Thirty-eight per cent of these businesses are retailers or resellers, with some 2,300 firms engaged in developing and marketing their own products and services, particularly in software.</p>
<p>"The industry has been an unheralded champion of innovation, employment growth, exports and the growth of Australian intellectual property," said Campbell. "It has now reached such a point of maturity that the establishment of a body with a united voice is the next logical step."</p>
<p>Campbell concedes that the ICT industry isn’t blameless for the current situation. “We have not been good at advocating our position; local ICT companies have continually undersold what they do, and existing industry associations have long been dominated by diverse interests and multinationals.</p>
<p>"What we need – and now have – is a group with enough punch and focus to articulate local interests and issues, on a national scale if need be, in the face of entrenched multinational competition at all levels."</p>
<p>One of the primary aims of Software Queensland is to remedy the growing ICT trade deficit, which is currently approaching $20 billion.</p>
<p>"When you consider that ICT underpins everything that happens in our world today, the situation will only worsen, perhaps to the point where Australia loses the ability to determine its own future, unless support for the Australian owned ICT industry is boosted significantly,” said Campbell.</p>
<p>“The Australian ICT industry, especially in Queensland, has proven itself in the global competitive environment. Success stories like Mincom, Technology One, GBST, icemedia, Advanced Data Integration, Markinsons, Sundata, Golden Orb Technologies, WebRaven, Concept, and many others are testimony to our ability to compete on the world stage.”</p>
<p>Software Queensland is inviting local companies to join in the effort to establish the State's ICT industry as a leading supplier of technology to Australia, and as a viable source of export revenue.</p>
<p>“We are sending a message to government, industry and our colleagues in the ICT industry: it’s time to address the issue head-on," said Campbell. "If we want Australia to remain a strong economy, culturally independent and in control of its future, then we must have a very strong, locally owned ICT industry that adds to employment and the wealth of the community.”</p>
<p>The association sees a mutually beneficial and collaborative approach among member companies as necessary to break out of the restrictions of the local market and to achieve export earnings and employment growth. A natural by-product of this strategy will be raised credibility when dealing with issues such as government policy, the capital markets and potential local clients.</p>
<p>"Many local companies have learnt the hard way what it takes to make it interstate and overseas and these lessons will dramatically improve the results from younger, smaller companies as they go forward," Campbell added.</p>
<p>Software Queensland plans a series of forums on business issues facing local developers. The first event, to be held on August 26, at 12 p.m. at the St Lucia Golf Club, will address the issue of “How to Identify, Protect and Manage Your Business’s Intellectual Property Assets". The event will be chaired by Advanced Data Integration CEO Chris Gorry with Alicia Beverley, founder of IP Wealth as the guest speaker. The next two events will be held at the St Lucia Golf Club on Thursday, 23 September and on Thursday, 21 October. For more information on these and future Software Queensland events, please call Chris Gorry, Advanced Data Integration, on (07) 3250 5300.</p>
<p>Referring to the establishment of Software Queensland, Campbell highlighted the need for the association to have the ability to speak to government on the basis of all of the Software Queensland members.</p>
<p>“For too long in the past individuals such as Adrian Di Marco, David Merson, David Barbagallo and others have had to take issues to government on behalf of their companies and the industry. With the formation of Software Queensland, members will be able to go to government representing the voice of the Queensland ITC industry, and not as individual companies," said Campbell.</p>
<p>"Hopefully Software Queensland will be a catalyst to similar forums in other states, with the view to one day creating a representative body for the Australian Software Product Developer community as a whole."</p>
<p>About Software Queensland
Software Queensland Inc. was launched in July 2004 to represent the interests of Queensland-based software development companies. The group gives Queensland developers a collective voice and helps them promote their talents and strengths to corporations and governments Australia-wide. Software Queensland provides senior managers with a forum to discuss confidential issues and share their experiences in an open and non-competitive environment for the betterment of the Queensland software development industry as a whole.</p>
<p>For more information:</p>
<p>Dr Paul Campbell
Chairman, Software Queensland Inc.
07 3511 5311
campbell@icemedia.com.au</p>
<p>Watterson Marketing Communications
Guy Lerner
02 9437 6122
guy.lerner@watterson.com.au</p>

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