Data#3 awards itself an MBA

Data#3 awards itself an MBA

New-look Data#3 has acquired Sydney-based reseller Maggs Business Advisory (MBA) to launch itself into the mid-market ERP space behind Navision software.

Data#3 currently integrates SAP into its high-end customers, and the acquisition of MBA will provide the Queensland-based company with the opportunity to stake a claim on the SME space and a greater presence in the lucrative Sydney market.

Under the agreement, Data#3 becomes a Navision Solutions Centre (NSC) and has the rights to implement and distribute Navision Software nationally, including the recently released Navision 3.0.

The acquisition of an existing NSC was the quickest way to market for Data#3 into the Navision ERP suite and it appears Data#3 has made a suave move. The acquisition of MBA saves the company the cost of setting up its own infrastructure to enter into the ERP space at the SME level, while at the same time giving it an existing customer base to work from.

Data#3 representatives were unable to comment on the acquisition, and full details of the acquisition had not been officially released at press time.

However, according to Garth Laird, Navision's Asia-Pacific managing director, the vendor has been in discussions with Data#3 for around 18 months and last week's acquisition is the result of Data#3's intention to partner with the mid-market ERP developer.

Likewise, Navision is consolidating its channel strategy, claims Laird, to better support its partners and hopefully achieve further market penetration.

Laird told ARN it is no longer enough for resellers to "sign a piece of paper and then never hear from them again".

"And as we know, that's been the case with some Australian resellers in the past," he added.

Because of the integrator's sheer size in the Australian market, the alliance throws a shadow over Navision's existing partners. However, Laird was quick to dispel any possibility that Data#3 has the potential to put the squeeze on the 17 other existing NSCs.

"We don't see that happening. A lot of our partners play in different markets," said Laird. "We're also encouraging our NSCs to partner with each other wherever they can."

Laird sees Data#3's move towards Navision as "pivotal" in the company's much publicised restructuring (see ARN August 16, page 1).

"That's the way we pitched it to them and that's our understanding of where they want to go in the market," he said.

Last week's acquisition follows a number of similar acquisitions by big business of smaller NSCs. Management Communications Systems was recently bought by international company Aston Navitean, while Criterion Technology has been bought by consulting giant Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (ARN June 28, page 12).

Heading up the new business unit will be former MBA boss Peter Maggs, who told ARN large integrators are now recognising how successful Navision has been in the mid-market ERP space and are snapping up NSCs rather than setting up their own divisions.

Maggs claims the acquisition will enable MBA to leverage Data#3's muscle in the industry to sell into bigger organisations.

"Bigger clients in our market will be more comfortable dealing with Data#3 than they would talking to Maggs Business," he said.

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