The company formerly known as Best People International (BPI) has refocused on selling its Instant Messaging software through the channel after selling off its IT recruitment business.
Originally specialising in IT recruitment, BPI saw a new opportunity when director Steve Traurig brought onboard a secure, corporate Instant Messaging technology based on Lotus' Sametime technology. But when large channel group Volante acquired the firm, it was only interested in the recruitment arm. Subsequently seven of the 25 staff at BPI have now established a new company called Globalise and intend to take their Instant Messaging IP to the channel to pick up sales.
National sales manager Tony Nash said the company always believed that its Instant Messaging technology had a brighter future than IT recruitment. "Recruitment went into a big hole at the end of 2001," he said. "But strangely enough, Volante wasn't interested in our technology, just the recruitment business."
Globalise's secure messaging technology is based on Lotus' Sametime technology, but unlike your standard ICQ or Yahoo Messenger, it can be used for customer contact on Web sites. When a customer sends a message, it can be received by an operator and passed through to various other people in the company in much the same way as a phone call would pass through a PABX system.
After abandoning one sinking industry (recruitment), e-commerce may seem a risky venture to be taking on at present. But Nash said there are plenty of customers in the e-commerce space that would see immediate returns on investment from such technology.
"There are two types of e-commerce players," he said. "There are those that want their Web site to be a self-ordering system, a low-cost method of distribution. They won't be that interested. Then there are those companies that use the Internet as a gateway to their customers, who want to provide those customers with support," he said.
Nash said many e-commerce sites suffer from "shopping trolley abandonment", whereby a customer gets through the order process but quits at the last minute before completing the transaction through a lack of certainty about the process. He believes that it is at this point that secure Instant Messaging is most effective.
Currently Globalise has around six resellers, mostly comprised of Web-hosting organisations such as Ozhosting.com (subsidiary of listed IT company Destra), and it has connections with the IBM channel as an IBM global business partner. "This is the way we want to expand, through resellers," said Nash. "We would rather they do the selling while we focus on building the architecture."