Tequinox signs up giants, woos channel

Tequinox signs up giants, woos channel

Flush from signing new software delivery deals with Microsoft and Oracle, Australian application service provider (ASP) Tequinox says the channel is central to its plans for sales and fulfilment.

"Currently we have our own direct sales force and we sell through systems integrators," said Tequinox executive vice president, Bill Hodgson. "As we grow, we will move to advertising, distribution and then franchised channels. We're developing the channels now."

Hodgson said the deals with Oracle and Microsoft are the culmination of nine months of negotiation and are core to his company's ASP strategy.

"They are both fundamental. With all ASP solutions we need to offer a Microsoft desktop suite, and a number of key markets also need Oracle," Hodgson said. "Oracle and Microsoft don't want to talk to each other -- they both like to think they can deliver the world. But in real life Microsoft dominates the desktop while Oracle dominates enterprise resource planning. We're looking to add value and move down market to organisations currently using products like MYOB and Quicken."

Microsoft is piloting the ASP model through both Tequinox and Telstra, while Oracle also provides software through its own ASP channel, Business Online.

Currently Tequinox delivers Mincom software using the ASP model, but the agreement means the company will be able to offer customers a more comprehensive product suite.

Existing customers in the high-end corporate market are the first target market, but Hodgson said the company aims to increasingly penetrate the SME sector. "Oracle looks like the big end of town. If we can make it easy to use and understand, but still give it full power, then we can make it attractive to the small end of town. We're also looking to do another business partnership in the near future, so we can offer business process outsourcing for small businesses."

Formerly a division of Australian software company Mincom, Tequinox was launched as a separate company last year to spearhead a foray into the emerging ASP market, where applications are hosted and managed remotely and delivered to end users via a secure internet line.

Hodgson said Tequinox currently turns revenue of $30 million, a third of which is from its ASP business. He expects that to grow in excess of 120 per cent per year.

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