Software AG diversifies its channel

Software AG diversifies its channel

German software powerhouse Software AG is continuing its realignment in the Australian marketplace claiming its new e-business focus requires it to diversify its distribution model to include both direct and channel fulfilment.

The move comes in the wake of the acquisition of its Australian distributor of 18 years - SPL WorldGroup's Enterprise Support Division - that led to the establishment of the company's Australian subsidiary Software AG Australia in December.

However, except for Western Australia, where Perth-based Dynamic Business Resources will get exclusive distribution rights for Software AG's Bolero, Entire-X and Tamino product lines, Software AG Australia will be servicing almost its entire local client base of 80 companies directly.

But according to Ken Burrows, managing director of Software AG Australia and New Zealand, such an initiative was motivated by the need to have "more control over Software AG's sales activity and maximise potential growth" and not by the company's unwillingness to engage the channel in a renewed market push.

"Time to market is critical in the rapidly evolving world of e-business and we have to control our transition into that world more directly," Burrows explained.

"However, Software AG has issued a global directive to all subsidiaries to increase our sales through the channel to up to 50 per cent by 2003, so we are definitely committed to the channel," he said.

Burrows revealed Software AG Australia in fact plans to sign up 10-12 professional development companies by the end of this year. These will include software developers, VARs and systems integrators.

"We've put together an aggressive marketing strategy to target new opportunities and develop mindshare, and are also changing our traditional direct sales model to introduce an Empowered Partners Programme," he explained. "These partners will be developing or integrating e-business solutions using our software under the OEM-type business alliance agreements."

Two companies, Canberra-based Tower Software and Management Solutions, have already joined Software AG's business alliance that will guarantee them training, pre-sales and licence development support, as well as access to joint marketing resources.

The business alliance activities will be co-ordinated by Software AG's newly appointed channel manager, Geoff Kalwig.

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