One of the founders of UK-based Oracle reseller Sysao, Guy Harden, has landed in Sydney to take up the position of managing director for the company’s expanding Australian operations.
Sysao is a London-based value added reseller whose core business is the implementation of Oracle’s Applications software. The company opened its second office (a wholly-owned subsidiary) in Sydney in early 2000.
Harden said Sydney was an obvious candidate for the group’s expansion as the US market is “flooded” with similar businesses and is complex to penetrate.
“Australia on the other hand is well suited to a company of our size and the solutions we develop,” he said.
The business focuses on Oracle’s Applications business, implementing Oracle-branded software solutions such as financials, human resources/payroll and customer relationship management. These solutions make up a much smaller part of Oracle’s business than its core database software and tools – often attributed to the fact that these products compete with companies that were formerly its ISV (Independent Software Vendor) partners.
Harden said Oracle and its resellers had done well in competing with PeopleSoft, SAP, and JD Edwards in Europe and the UK but, by comparison, had done less well in Australia.
The local office of Sysao plans to remedy this situation by being heavily focused on the small and medium sized business market and offering solutions on a fixed price/fixed scope basis.
“The key for us is our methodology,” he said. “Our engineers have come up with a methodology that is different from that of Oracle to ensure we can afford to offer fixed price implementations.”
Sysao has a global reseller relationship with Oracle, so the local subsidiary does not buy through Oracle’s local resellers.
It also has access to dedicated account managers and to joint marketing opportunities, although general manager, Mark Latina, said the marketing opportunities were “not as buoyant as they once were.”
Latina said Oracle’s local office passed a lot of leads onto Sysao as most of its local partners have little skills in the Applications area.
He dismissed the license cost benefits of buying direct from Oracle and suggested that implementation costs were where resellers of enterprise-level software were differentiated.
Sysao currently employs 14 consultants in Australia, but plans to stretch that figure to 20 before the year is out.
“There is a very good skills base in Australia,” Harden said. “Having said that, the breadth of experience is not as widespread as in Europe. There are a lot of people with the core skills but there is no penetration in the Applications space so there are very few people with the right experience.”