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Call goes out for local software alliance

Call goes out for local software alliance

A Queensland-based integrator and developer is keen to rally local software companies into a lobby group to gain better mindshare from government agencies.

Responding to a recent ARN story, Kon Kakanis, director of sales and marketing at Sundata, said there is a need for local developers "to develop some form of forum" to lobby their cause.

He said there is a "large gap" between bleating about the lack of support and "actually having a clearly articulated policy or direction" for government to assess.

"The software development community needs to get itself into a combined voice to lobby and educate the government on what it wants and what our subset of the industry means to the local economy," Kakanis said.

"When I listen to people like [Queensland Minister] Paul Lucas talking about the value of the information technology and communications industry, software development doesn't even get a mention in his presentations."

Kakanis said that he is as guilty as the rest of the industry in "having a go at the government" for its lack of support for the local software industry, but what is really needed is a "unified voice".

The AIIA or BSAA are not logical forums to achieve this because their "membership is effectively top-heavy with overseas companies", according to Kakanis.

"I think there is a need for an Australian software developers association to educate the government as to the importance of the local software industry," he said. "The core problem is that there is a lack of understanding and interest in the fact that the local software industry is a viable and valuable part of the broader IT economy.

"If you were to ask any state or federal government IT department what the value of the local software industry is to Australia, they would not be able to answer. What we need is a single briefing paper that goes to all state and federal government members that explains this to them."

While acknowledging that Sundata is a lightweight in comparison to local industry leaders such as Mincom and Technology One, Kakanis is prepared to devote time and resources to getting a lobby group off the ground.

"I would at the very least be prepared to chair a forum and get it to a stage where we can develop a policy statement on what the software industry can deliver to the Australian economy.

"I might find out I am dreaming but I would like to organise for some of the major players in the industry to come together and I am prepared to put some effort into this concept. If there is enough support from other companies in the local software development industry, then we can take the idea a whole lot further."

Kakanis said to make a go of such an association or lobby group, support needs to come from either "a quality or quantity" of local developers.

"We need the backing of two or three heavy hitters or a lot of smaller developers," he said.

"There are a lot of smaller developers around and their input and support would be good as would a couple of big names to act as lightning rods to get the attention of government."

Interested software developers can contact Kakanis on (07) 3004 7323 or kkakanis@sundata.com.au


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