Ascential plans for channel

Ascential plans for channel

Ascential Software has righted itself and its channel strategy after splitting from its Siamese twin, the Informix database business which was bought out by IBM in July.

The information asset management (IAM) software developer, which recently announced its acquisition of parallel processing specialist Torrent Systems for $US46 million in cash, is setting serious growth projections on the back of its new product range and the establishment of an extensive reseller network.

Ascential has added rich media searching via meta data to its new DataStage product family, giving it the ability to integrate data from an organisation's various information sources -- structured (financial systems, alphanumeric and set applications), unstructured (CRM, ERP, human resources systems) and multimedia (video, audio, and graphic).

"No-one among our competitors covers all three of these areas," said Dereck Daymond, regional managing director for Ascential Asia-Pacific and Africa.

Daymond said the divorce from Informix has allowed the software business to pursue partnerships more freely because customers and resellers no longer view Ascential as a hardware competitor. This in turn has boosted growth.

"We are looking at $US350 million in revenue within the next two years and shortly after that $1 billion," Daymond claimed.

Major systems integrators and resellers will be a primary channel to increasing revenue gains, according to Daymond. "We expect to be generating 80 per cent of our revenue via partners. We're at less than 40 or 50 per cent currently."

Ascential is opting for a non-competitive strategy, leaning on partners for integration and ongoing services. However, the vendor will provide trained technicians to assist on installations.

"[The channel] was one of the areas we weren't strong in before, but within this year we have signed several OEM, reseller and business partnerships both locally, with companies like Dialogue, MSI, Prism and Informatics, and internationally, with the likes of SAP and Andersen Consulting.

Ascential has recently signed an international OEM agreement with IBM, which will resell the full range of Ascential products and use Ascential's Media 360 as part of its warehouse manager on DB2.

Ascential has $1 billion in the bank from the sale of Informix and will continue to seek strategic acquisitions to enhance it core offering, not unlike the Torrent deal.

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