OwlCentral on the hunt for partners (but hoo?)
- 27 March, 2002 09:48
Kiwi document assembly company OwlCentral has landed in North Sydney and is scouring the local market for channel partners in several vertical industries.
OwlCentral was established in New Zealand in 1999 after its two founders came up with a system that could effectively replicate the logic of a legal professional when questioning a client, in order to streamline the process of completing legal documentation.
The company then contracted a local developer, Accelerated Computer Training, to use this logic to develop an online system that would create a "lawyer in a can". The end result was so compelling that the two directors of OwlCentral acquired the developer, renamed it Owltech, and began offering the artificial intelligence system online.
For the last two years, this online system has been operating on a pay-per-use basis in New Zealand, but chief executive David Cam believes the technology behind the site is more valuable than the legal service it runs.
As such, the company has launched docdolittle, a generic version of the legal document technology based on the Microsoft platform. Cam claims it can be used in any vertical where repetitive documents are created.
While OwlCentral's research and development remains in New Zealand, the company chose to open its main sales and marketing office in Sydney earlier this year.
For the most part, the company has been selling direct, in order to "learn what customers want, and more importantly, what they don't want from a document assembly system", according to Cam. But the company now wants to sign on channel partner agreements with a view to getting a leg-up to some new verticals.
Already OwlCentral's business development manager, Michelle Avis, has signed up consulting firms Accenture and Lexus to serve the top end of the financial services market and the legal vertical, respectively. Avis said the company was now putting its feelers out into the mid-market to ascertain which channel companies could offer the most benefit. At present, verticals such as financial services, health, government and transport/logistics are at the top of Avis's list.
Cam said the company offers its partners high-end contracts with "lumpy" margins.