Data#3 hints at further investments

Data#3 hints at further investments

Data#3 is claiming it will spend up big on new initiatives for its specialised businesses in the next year after recording its highest ever annual financial results.

The Queensland-based company reported revenue of $176 million over the 2003/2004 financial year, returning a net profit of $3.39 million, up from $2.26 the previous year.

Data#3 managing director, John Grant, said the company had set its sights on growing specialist businesses, and would look to invest significant funds into strategic partnerships, including potential acquisitions.

"The theme for us remains consistent: investments in people and infrastructure," he said.

For example, the decision to launch Australia's first IBM TotalStorage Solution Centre in Sydney in July was an investment into infrastructure for the enterprise computing division of its business, Grant said.

Data#3 had done the same for its Cisco relationship by launching a specialist solutions lab in Queensland in March, he said.

"I envisage customers will be able to walk into a Data#3 centre, walk into a specific area and see it all happen," Grant said.

"This means significant investment into infrastructure and people and scale - we need to get bigger."

He said Data#3 now maintained four core specialist businesses: enterprise computing for large corporate data centres, licensing, applications development and recruitment.

One of the biggest decisions made by Data#3 over the past year was to cut back its applications business, Grant said.

"We made the call that we can't have that total business operate successfully as part of Data#3," he said.

"We were struggling to make a mark in NSW and Victoria."

As a result, the company divested three of its fours application-based division, including the sale of its Navision business to Eclipse in July.

"This leaves us with our Microsoft-based applications division," Grant said. "This ties into our consulting and licensing services."

Another area of concern was its presence in the NSW and Victorian markets, he said.

"We have made progress, but no- where near where we want to be," Grant said. "This is imperative in the next 12 months."

He said Data#3 had also narrowed its vendor relationships down to four major players - HP, IBM, Cisco and Microsoft - to help strengthen its image as a specialist services group.

Although it would continue to deal with other vendors, such as Citrix, these relationships would be viewed more as supplementary to its four key partnerships, he said.

"I believe that the future of integrators and resellers is vested in their relationship with vendors driving their identity globally," Grant said.

"There's nothing Einstein about it - it's just a matter of focusing on where we can add value to be competitive and make money."

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