Local integrator Eclipse Computing Australia has partnered with a UK-based organisation servicing a similar vertical niche and will distribute the latter's Tempo product, a Web-based time management and project accounting application.
The client/server enterprise application, called Tempo, was developed by UK VAR-cum-consultant and independent software vendor Foundation Systems, which is now looking for international markets after significant home success.
Malcolm Featherstone, Eclipse Computing's Australian country manager, said that it would initially be marketing the `professional services force automation' product directly to its existing customer base.
However, it will also be looking for reseller partners in geographic regions where it is not strong, such as Queensland, South Australia and the ACT. Non-IT companies offering other products and services to the finance and accounting industries could also be partners along with total solutions integrators.
Featherstone claimed Tempo was one of the first `complete and fully featured' applications of this type that `doesn't focus too closely on specific market groups.
`Most other applications tend to be a component of broader ERP solutions and therefore carry all the associated implementation costs,' Featherstone said. However, services still account for about 50 per cent of the sale as time management and accounting for the billing of services are issues unique to each company.
According to Featherstone, most packages previously developed to spec-ifically deal with time management issues have been targeted at the traditional time accounting and billing industries such as lawyers and accountants. There is a much broader range of industry and customer types these days. Examples given included public relations, IT, research, media and government departments.
`We see professional services automation as a growth market,' Featherstone said. `The financial market is static and saturated so we were looking for growth opportunities. Foundation and its Tempo product were a good fit in terms of what we wanted to do.
`The competition [in time management solutions] is diverse but Tempo is focused on professional services,' he said. `Most people haven't recognised this as a market niche and that there are solutions to fit it. We are glad to be getting in early.'
Meanwhile, as resellers move further towards services-based methodologies of their own, Featherstone claims Tempo will help them maximise efficiencies and thus returns from the billing process. At the same time, he says being Web based enables it all to be performed remotely which is where services operatives often tend to be.
Eclipse has a financial and business management solutions focus and tends to target medium-sized organisations. It is perhaps best known for the SunSystems-based bilingual Japanese/ English financial accounting package it developed and deployed widely.
Featherstone said Eclipse's operations include 11 offices in 10 countries. In addition to SunSystems, it lists Pivotal and Great Plains as partners in its solutions development.http://www.eclipsecomputing.com