Oracle specialist Attain IT, formerly known as Cognicase Australia, is attempting to gain a wider presence around the country by doubling its reseller ranks.
Based in the Sydney suburb of Mosman, Attain IT was formerly the Australian division of Canadian-based Cognicase. Last year, four of the managers of Cognicase Australia decided to buy the company. As part of the management buyout they were granted access to the Cognicase name only for a 12-month period, hence the name change to Attain IT.
Attain IT positions itself as a "value-added distributor" of Oracle's core software (databases, application servers and development tools). The level of skills on its staff would equate it to a small consulting house, if not for the fact that 80 per cent of its revenues actually come from utilising these skills on behalf of resellers, rather than dealing directly with clients.
Since the company rebranded, management has doubled the number of resellers and started expanding the business outside of New South Wales. It has established a practice in Canberra and is looking to open an office in Melbourne in coming months. The distributor is now looking to expand its channel further through systems integrators, independent software vendors (ISVs) and dealers that sell server hardware.
Attain IT's business model sees resellers gain brief sales training in Oracle products, but no certification or official technological training. Instead, they rely on the expertise of Attain IT when pitching the sale and contract Attain IT to provide the necessary implementation services on their behalf.
"For the reseller, there is no cost to entering the Oracle market. It expands their offering, they have a very low cost of sale, but they still gain a good margin," said Attain IT sales manager Robin Habgood. "Resellers only have to find the client and pay the invoice - they can lean on our certifications."
Habgood said Attain IT is the only distributor of Oracle software that pushes the majority of its business through the reseller channel. "We have put our business on the line to prove that the distribution model works," he said. "Resellers are happy to have us sit in on a sale. Unlike a vendor, we can't ruin our relationships by stepping aside and sidelining them."
Habgood said Oracle has welcomed its distribution model with open arms and has no concerns about having a plethora of reseller partners with little technological skills on the Oracle platform. "We are expanding the Oracle pie, not just taking a slice of it," Habgood said. "By opening up Oracle to all these new resellers and providing them with the expertise and the support, we are essentially setting up a channel that won't be relying on Oracle to get leads."
Attain IT has the licensing expertise, Habgood boasts, to enable resellers to sell Oracle solutions at prices that are comparable to those of the vendor's direct sales force. "Oracle gives us enough margin to play with such that we can pass on good margins to our reseller partners," he said. "We're not talking single digits here. Oracle has price mechanisms in place that are not very well known that we can recommend."
Attain IT is also assisting ISVs to port their products to Oracle's database. ISVs that currently have their applications ported to SQL, DB2, Sybase or Informix can take their application to Attain IT, have it ported to Oracle's database platform, and then begin selling into Oracle houses.
New head of channels at Oracle
Oracle Australia has appointed Leigh Warren to the position of director of channels and alliances. He replaces former director Lee Thompson, who has moved into a new position at Oracle Canada.
Warren brings to the local channel his experience as managing director for Oracle in New Zealand and South Africa. He has also spent many years working with Unisys and running his own consulting and reseller businesses.