South African software development company i5 has opened an office in New Zealand and plans to establish a presence in Australia in 2008. The company, which specialises in providing business intelligence and customer relationship solutions based on the Microsoft platform, will also resell its in-house developed application Rezonance in these territories.
In addition to executing its Pacific Rim expansion plans, i5 is also operating extensively in Africa where CEO Glen Ansell says it will continue its growth path. "We have won deals in Nigeria, Windhoek, Kenya and Botswana; while we are growing across the world, we remain an African company," he says.
According to Ansell, the company's New Zealand office is open for business as of October 2007. "In exploratory visits to these countries, it emerged that they are home to mature markets with specific requirements for enterprise-ready solutions based on Microsoft technology which are not being met satisfactorily."
He says companies around the world are increasingly accepting Microsoft solutions as viable and affordable options for enterprise requirements, with these technologies comparing favourably with those from competing vendors such as Siebel, Oracle and SAP.
These countries are larger markets than the domestic one, and, he adds, are some six months behind South Africa in their use of the types of technology solutions provided by i5. "There has been something of a boom in South Africa and many of the implementations of CRM and BI software are world-leading. We will be applying this experience in New Zealand and Australia."
With the opening of its New Zealand branch, he says a specific focus on Microsoft's PerformancePoint performance management solution and the SharePoint Portal technologies will drive initial business growth, as well as solutions based on Microsoft CRM 3.0.
i5 is also entering these markets as an independent software vendor.
It's Rezonance software solution set enhances the capabilities of Microsoft CRM 3.0, specifically in terms of the functionality and extensibility of the sales, services and marketing core modules.
Ansell explains that Rezonance bundles various benefits such as alerting, system dashboard, multifield search and summary and other advanced analysis capabilities while providing the flexibility of per user or per server licensing. "We have signed up six distributors for Rezonance to date. Interest in the product is substantial and we will continue to develop a channel to market for it in these territories."
Notably, Ansell says demand from government agencies in both countries is substantial. "We believe there is probably 10 times the potential market we have in South Africa. i5 will pursue these opportunities aggressively."