Data#3 warms to MBS

Data#3 warms to MBS

ASX-listed reseller Data#3 has placed its bets with Microsoft Business Solutions for business applications, as the company moves to align itself with the most successful channel-focused vendors in each product category.

While Data#3’s 25-year history has seen the company work with several enterprise software vendors as well as developing its own solutions, in the past six years it’s software business revolved around reselling and building infrastructure solutions around SAP’s enterprise software.

The reseller moved away from reselling SAP software in December, but continues to build infrastructure solutions for SAP customers.

Chief executive officer, John Grant, said SAP had always worked with a group of core implementation partners, the majority of which were large international consulting and integration companies.

When the vendor attempted to establish itself in the mid-market about a decade ago, it signed up the likes of Data#3 as resellers.

In order to minimise any conflict with existing implementation partners, Data#3 only resold the product and did not engage in implementations.

The company would compete in the sale, manage licenses, offer project management skills, but it would outsource the implementation of SAP solutions to other partners.

SAP recently moved to realign its channel — and in doing so made it a requirement for resellers to be certified in implementing, not just reselling the software. Data#3 was presented with a choice of either building an implementation business or exiting the reseller relationship. It chose the latter — but still maintains an infrastructure support business that serves the needs of many SAP customers.

Data#3 began selling Navision software prior to Microsoft’s acquisition of the Danish company. In late 2000, Data#3 acquired a Navision Solutions Centre called MBA, and another 12 months later solutions centre from accounting conglomerate, Stockford.

Grant said that his company now considered Microsoft as absolutely core to its business.

“Call it part blind faith,” he said, “and part common sense. Microsoft is a marketing company. They create demand by spending money. They are investing a lot in this space.”

Grant said he would consider Data#3 to be the third or fourth largest Microsoft Business Solutions partner in Australia — and has now set his sights on MBS-specialists such as Dialog Information Services, Aston NaviTeam and Eclipse.

In order to do so, Data#3 has begun an aggressive recruitment campaign to find Microsoft Business Solutions specialists.

The company has recently scalped former Dialog ACT regional manager, Peter Brown, as national practice manager, and has hired former IBIZ consulting application specialist, Ramanan Ramachandran, as well as former APA Management Services account manager, Barry Keown.

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