Stay Alert to IT cost overruns

Stay Alert to IT cost overruns

Resellers can avoid death by a thousand cuts, claims the developer of a new resource management system aimed at the IT industry.

Adelaide-based Vital Business Solutions took the wraps of its Alert product earlier this month in a bid to win customers from the ranks of organisations badly burnt by costly project implementation overruns.

Vital's CEO Steve Crago said many IT companies, including resellers, tended to sell business improvement solutions while neglecting their own day-to-day management.

"The biggest problem facing resellers is knowing the customer's expectations and then being able to deliver on those expectations."

"Alert helps by putting pegs in the ground, setting up the goal posts, which allows you to track how things are varying through time.

"Customers invariably don't know what they want until you start giving it to them, then the goal posts starts moving.

"Alert also gives resellers the chance to lower their cost of sales, by allowing them to interact with their customers via the Web."

Alert is claimed to provide end-to-end electronic supply-chain management, capable of managing multiple projects common in the IT industry.

The product can be wholly or partly Web-delivered using the Application Service Provider (ASP) model.

With an entry-level five-user cost of $5000, Alert runs on the Windows platform as well as coming in the ASP option, which provides greater opportunity for inter-company collaboration.

Established in 1996, Vital Business Solutions employs six people directly with a core team of 10, including sales and marketing consultants.

Although the company is currently running a direct sales model, it intends to recruit a number of strategic partners to provide implementation services in various parts of Australia.

Crago said every IT company, including resellers, was faced with resource management problems.

"Once you have more than 10 people, you have a management problem," he said.

"Alert is a way to manage the time of the reseller's staff and also to manage the delivery of its services.

"If they are handling a number of products, Alert can let them know how much effort each product requires and the contribution it makes to their revenues."

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