5 for 15: Matt Jones, Xebra director

5 for 15: Matt Jones, Xebra director

The keys to 2015 from industry leaders

1. Key channel plays for 2015?

The Cloud is now the default choice, and we are part of helping folks transition to it in a frictionless manner. We bring great software and services from global players to the ANZ market, helping organisations that are looking to make the leap into the "everything-as-a-service” economy. Our business model is 'as-a-Service', and we run every aspect of our operations in the Cloud – so we “drink our own champagne” as they say.

The big ERP platforms are rapidly being replaced by more modern Cloud offerings, in more discrete domains, yet with complete interoperability. We believe that our focus on key SaaS providers and their ecosystems and investing in bringing them to our customers as integrated, well structured and easy to consume packages, will significantly improve the way that they run their operations and their bottom line.

2. Key technology for 2015?

The trend towards the adoption of Cloud-based subscription services and technologies will accelerate in 2015.

We use many of these platforms such as, Office 365, InViewUC and Xero ourselves because we know how effective it makes our business financially and operationally. Just as important are the productivity improvements that come from the shared data and worker collaboration that breaks down information silos. Even traditional on-premise best of breed platforms are making the necessary changes to their own product portfolios to move their offering into this new business environment to remain competitive. However, it remains to be seem if all are able to make the transition.

This year some of the more traditionally laggard industries and market segments will start to shift rapidly to Cloud apps. Utilities, local and state government and construction are some examples where adopting native Cloud based platforms such as AssetOptics and Skedulo for the Asset Management and Field Service will fulfill the operational functions of more traditional large scale EAM and field service platforms, but at a fraction of the cost as a result of the ability to flex their pricing structures based on consumption based pricing models.

3. Key message to the channel for 2015?

With the fragmentation of the monolithic ERP into a suite of apps across the value chain, interoperability and the ability to manage this new diverse app environment requires dexterity and skill. The new digital economy will require a greater degree of knowledge and experience in managing partnerships between providers to bring the right mix of capability to customers. Ecosystems such as Salesforce provide an answer to interoperability, but a client who’s end-to-end application stack involves managing 10s if not 100s of salesforce ISV platforms, can spend an awful lot of time managing these relationships.

4. Key warning to the channel for 2015?

The ICT industry will have to adapt to a growing level of globalisation which will mean a higher level of competition from around the globe for the ANZ IT spend, but also considerable opportunity for those willing to take leadership roles in bringing the pieces of the puzzle together for customers.

5. Key to their company for 2015?

This year is about bringing the right set of platforms and products to the A/NZ market.

Read more: 5 for 15: Everybody is reading what our industry leaders have to say about the year ahead

The challenge for the A/NZ market is that these software platform companies would not have reached the shores of Australia and New Zealand for another 2-3 years without a partner like Xebra.

We experience this lag because for innovative new solution vendors out of the US or UK markets their domestic market and geographic neighbouring markets present more than 70 per cent of the global market opportunity, and don’t even start on the time zone challenges.

So we have identified more than 10 key partners that we will bring to the Australia market that cover our three industry segments where we have deep expertise – comms, media and utilities, banking and finance, and finally, manufacturing, retail and distribution.

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