Internet relationship management (IRM) applications vendor Octane Software, has set up its Asia-Pacific operations with the opening of its regional headquarters in Melbourne.
According to the company, its regional operations will address the demand for its software in the region and provide local support to its distributors in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.
The role of Mike Ikotin, the new director of operations for the Asia-Pacific, includes developing Octane's localised sales and service infrastructure and overseeing third-party relationships with its partners in the region.
Octane established its channel network three months before the opening of the regional headquarters, and now wants to enlarge this network of channel partners. It is currently in discussion with a number of Australian distributors. Octane uses three levels of channel partners: VARs, system integrators, and specialised and commercial distributors.
"While requirements for each of these partners vary, on the whole the partners we are seeking need to specialise in e-commerce, the Internet and customer relationship management and be able to address the second-tier market segment. In addition to reselling our product, they will also need to be able to deliver services such as deployment and support," said Ikotin. System integrators will provide services for Octane's products rather than reselling products.
According to Ikotin, channel partners will benefit primarily from Octane's product delivery model which makes deployment of its products faster and more cost-effective. Octane will also provide its channel partners with ongoing local support, training, including on-the-job training, and lead referral.
While CRM applications are typically built to meet the needs of phone-centric call centres and address only customer interaction, IRM addresses the e-business requirements of participation by partners, resellers, vendors and employees based on the concept of workflow or business process, Ikotin said.
"Besides connecting e-commerce systems and e-content, IRM ties these in with e-support, e-sales and e-marketing capabilities," he said.
The company seeks to establish its products as the standard for IRM for the emerging e-business market, which it refers to as the Global Digital 1000. Its flagship product suite, Octane 2000, is built on a Web-centric architecture and supports both self- and assisted-service customer interactions over the Web, e-mail and telephone.