Planwell acquires NZ's Workplace Solutions

Planwell acquires NZ's Workplace Solutions

Integrator Planwell Technologies has expanded its operations into New Zealand after picking up the resources and intellectual property of a liquidated New Zealand-based equivalent, Workplace Solutions.

Planwell is the master distributor of Peregrine's infrastructure and knowledge management solutions. Matthew Barnier, Planwell's managing director, would not disclose how much was paid to the liquidators but expects the move will almost double revenues for the group as well as provide an immediate presence in New Zealand.

"New Zealand is a very advanced market for business knowledge solutions and this makes us the most significant Peregrine dealer in the Asia-Pacific region, with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland and Wellington," Barnier said.

Workplace Solutions had a total of 25 staff in offices in Auckland and Wellington as well as a "significant investment" in custom applications for market verticals, according to Barnier. These applications will be a good match for Planwell's Australian customer base.

"There is some good IP in facilities management, customer care and asset management," he said. "We will be bringing those products to Australia."

Workplace Solutions will immediately adopt the Planwell branding in New Zealand with Barnier forecasting combined Australian and New Zealand revenues of $14 million for the 2002 calendar year. Planwell's revenues in Australia were up 25 per cent to $8 million in 2001.

As part of the deal, Planwell also picked up some of the company's liabilities to customers who had paid for solutions that have not yet been delivered and for unexpired support and maintenance contracts.

Barnier said he has no fears about turning around the fortunes of Workplace Solutions. He believes the company became a victim of its own success, having raised over $1 million through high interest bonds and developing world-class applications before running out of cash to market them.

"Workplace couldn't keep up the interest payments and ran into some bad debts from clients," he said. "I am just glad that we have managed to save the customers, save the business and save the staff at the same time as expand our business dramatically.

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