Virtual Communities turns to services

PC reseller Virtual Communities has announced its foray into the service provider market yesterday, launching Virtual Communities Services (VCS), an e-business services and consulting arm.

With start-up capital of $1 million, Jason Sharpe, general manager of Virtual Communities, is confident the new services subsidiary will break even in the next financial year.

A separate entity from Virtual Communities' PC reseller business, the services arm will develop corporate e-business projects including supply chain and procurement exchanges, portals, ERP systems and systems integration projects, according to Jason Sharpe, general manager of Virtual Communities.

VCS will target the financial services, retail, healthcare and utilities sectors with the new offering, and also draw on an established business network of member organisations, namely the ACTU and the Catholic and Anglican Churches, for initial business.

VCS will act in direct competition with the service provider market, Sharpe said. However VCS would not deflect the company's focus on what he called its "strong" reseller business. "What we're trying to build here is a new business, a new end-to-end services venture and put the right resources behind it - we're not trying to push a specific product," he said.

VCS will also expand its portfolio to include application-building, creative project management and ASP-hosting services, Sharpe said. Six dedicated "engagement" staff will oversee project management.

Indian-based systems integrator and application developer SATYAM was chosen as VCS' IT partner to provide technical resources and consultancy. VCS will also outsource Melbourne multimedia group Pure Interactive for creative work, Sharpe said.

VCS development centres will be set up in Sydney and Melbourne over the next few years.