Finding synergies proves a plus

They say that 2000 will be a year of consolidation in the channel. It has certainly started that way for Synergy Plus, the merged IBM solution-focused entity which commenced operations on January 1 following the joining of Nettrack Technical Solutions and Synergy Software in holy matrimony.

The signs are good for the future of Synergy Plus after each of the seed companies recently won IBM Business Partner award accolades for separate efforts last year. Further moves to expand the business were not ruled out, by a senior executive.

With combined revenues of $35 million, Bob Bassat, Synergy Plus' managing director, said the union "just manifested itself as a logical path" when the Melbourne-based Synergy went looking for a partner in Sydney and found Nettrack.

Both companies had different focuses - Synergy a systems integrator and Nettrack more of a solutions shop - which they deemed to be complementary and which is designed to accelerate growth and development of e-business solutions.

Gathering geography

"It has gathered geography for both of us and with this we can share R&D resources across both companies," Bassat said. "Both companies tended to work with leading-edge applications. The investment required to maintain and learn new skills is quite high.

"With a presence in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne we can now split that across the three cities."

As a relatively small player, Bassat claimed that for either company to grow into new markets, "it was easier to just merge with somebody. We took over 12 months to get to know each other," he said.

"It started out with just doing a few things together and then progressed to a full-blown merger."

In the IBM Partner Awards the former Synergy Software was awarded 1999 IBM National Solution Provider of the Year as well as the Victorian state-based equivalent.

Nettrack added to the booty by garnering three awards for its 1999 efforts; IBM RS6000 Solution Provider of the Year, National Storage Provider of the Year and NSW Solution Provider of the Year.