ARN

ST Synergy partners with Spherion

Since going public in May last year Perth-based software start up ST Synergy has been working to commercialise its $5 million R&D efforts. That process came to a head last week when ST Synergy formed an alliance with global integrator and training company, the Spherion Group.

Under the terms of the agreement Spherion will become ST Synergy's primary implementation, training and support partner in Australia and around the globe.

The move is being touted as somewhat of a coup for the nine-year-old ST Synergy, which until now has rolled out and supported its knowledge management suite into 75 Australian companies under its own steam.

Spherion brings to the table a global reach and infrastructure unobtainable, at least in the short term, for ST Synergy. The company listed on the ASX generating $2 million and is currently exploring further capital raising initiatives.

The knowledge management software is designed to provide small to medium companies with a single view of their clients through an integrated enterprise portal. The software is an object oriented, multi-user, 32-bit Windows-based application that supports Windows 95/98/2000/XP and Windows NT 4.0/20000 operating systems.

Developed initially by accountant John Athans, founder of Athans & Taylor, a top-100 Australian accounting firm, the software is designed around a single database where all corporate information resides that can link to various existing CRM, document management or work flow applications.

In 1997 the company won the Comdex/Windows World Open Competition prize, presented by Bill Gates.

Robert Baker, ST Synergy managing director, said the company evaluated several potential partners before signing with Spherion. He said the decision hinged on Spherion's ability to provide both the project management, implementation and support of the software as well as the organisational training required by customers and additional VARs.

"Because of the nature of what this knowledge management tool is, there is a lot of cultural change involved. You're asking businesses to change the way they're operating. This requires a top-down commitment from the [senior] management of a company right through, backed up by training and support," said Baker. "None [of the other potential partners] had this key ability in training, so it's like [ST Synergy] got both in the one partner."

"This partnership is an essential element of our commercialisation strategy and will significantly enhance both party's growth opportunities in the Australian and international market place."

The Spherion Group, comprised of Spherion Technology Solutions and Spherion Education Solutions, will establish a centre of excellence in its Perth office to support customer rollouts across the region and is currently developing accompanying training programs.

The software is priced at around $1000-1200 per-seat, with training and support priced at around the same per seat. Baker said the company is also looking to appoint additional VARs across the region.