Knowledge management software developer Odyssey Development is expanding its global presence with the establishment of an UK office.
According to Ian Davies, managing director of Odyssey Development, the Europe-based operation has the potential to generate a third of the company's revenue once its channel is fully established and operational.
"Two thirds of our revenues are currently made from our US branch so we are very export oriented," he says. "We don't expect UK exports to reach the same level as the US because the market isn't as big, but it will be healthy."
According to analyst Gartner the document technologies market will reach $US41.6 billion in 2003, representing a 26 per cent compound annual growth rate.
Davies believes a UK-specific branch is a necessary step for Odyssey products to reach full market penetration in the region. "At the moment, we have distributors representing us but [the Odyssey brand] is only one of their many products," he says.
Davies says Odyssey has been losing potential sales based on distributors' lack of in-depth knowledge of the products' ability. "A customer will ring up and say 'Does it do this?' and the distributors will say 'No' because they lack the high-level expertise," he says.
Davies stresses that this shortcoming is simply the nature of the beast. "Distributors are great but unless you've got your own people there on the ground it doesn't accelerate the product to its full potential," he adds.
The channel has played a fairly minor role in Odyssey's Australian and US operations with the weight of the business carried by the developer's own offices. Europe however, has operated through distributors for the last 12 years and Odyssey feels the most successful method in the region will be to expand the channel and offer increased technical support.
The move will also enable Odyssey to leverage its ISYS search solution products throughout Europe. ISYS has fully translated user interfaces in Dutch, German and French and will search and retrieve all European languages including Russian. This strong linguistic line-up has secured clients such as the United Nations in Geneva, World Trade Organisation in Vienna and the World Health Organisation.
Photograph: Odyssey Development MD Ian Davies.