Data#3 has dipped its foot into user-oriented Wi-Fi analytics with a $A2.5 million minority shareholding stake in Discovery Technology which will lead to a controlling position by 2015 and full ownership by June 2017 at latest.
The infrastructure company did not disclose the percentage figure of its initial non-controlling stake, but said it is a significant one. It expects to complete this first investment in July 2014.
Data#3 managing director, John Grant, told ARN the reseller made the move because it required user-oriented software to accompany its capabilities around middleware software.
“[Discovery] is very different to what we did in the past,” Grant said. “It relies on implementation of Wi-Fi infrastructure. Those investments are not small and the benefits Discovery can add to Wi-Fi infrastructure are substantial.”
Grant predicts that Discovery will give Data#3 widespread market vertical opportunity.
“It’s early days, but we can craft these opportunities to suit where we really do see the widest returns. [Discovery] has been deployed in a number of industries but we haven’t got a major footprint in those. Its capabilities can be applied to almost any public place; wherever people try to do stuff [with Wi-Fi connected devices], it will give us a play.”
But this is not Data#3’s first taste of Discovery. The former became a reseller of the latter’s CCX solution in mid-2013, a relationship which will be maintained “on an arm’s length basis” and managed separately from the investment “to ensure the integrity of Discovery’s relationship with other resellers of the solution”, according to a statement to the ASX.
On the flipside, Data#3 offers Discovery a stronger relationship with networking vendor, Cisco Systems, within and outside of Australia.
“Over the last two years we have made significant headway in developing and taking our Wi-Fi analytics solution to market, but this is a new venture for us,” Discovery co-founder and shareholder, Brendan Williams, said.
“Having Data#3 as a strategic investor will strengthen the relationship we have with Cisco and provide us with the financial support, guidance and stewardship a typical ‘start-up’ technology requires to deliver the outcomes we see are possible.”
Discovery has been in the small to medium business (SMB), corporate and government markets since 1997, and launched its CCX software in 2013. The technology can be deployed over Wi-Fi networks to enable owners to monetise a network through analytics and location-aware monitoring.
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