Elcom mulls e-commerce channel

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Sydney e-commerce developer Elcom Technology has outlined plans to build a local channel for its homegrown administration tools and ERP products.

Sydney e-commerce developer Elcom Technology has outlined plans to build a local channel for its homegrown administration tools and ERP products.

Elcom -- which was just admitted to the NSW Department of State and Regional Development's Australian Technology Showcase (ATS) for innovative technology providers with export potential -- has developed a niche product that lets companies securely manage remote offices or outsourcers online.

Ron Mannix, sales and marketing manager at Elcom, said the software, dubbed Lifecycle, let companies optimise staff productivity while minimising travel costs and wasted resources due to communication problems all too common when dealing with locations a long way from headquarters.

"I've got a financial services company using it for its processes," he said. "Anything occurring around the place, you can take that in at a central location."

A good example might be professional services, engineering, distribution or manufacturing companies with sites in China. In the recent Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, Lifecycle would have let users monitor and manage business processes without having to send staff to China, he said.

Lifecycle ran on one central online server. It had features allowing users to monitor and manage product development, quality control, orders and shipments. Project, production and administrative managers could be given secure access to the system according to their requirements, Mannix said.

"It's a process or project management tool, for all the communications around a project," he said. "It is fairly unique because it is browser-based."

Resellers already selling Elcom's Community Manager administration gateway would find Lifecycle complemented the offering, appealing to similar types of customers, he said.

"Outsourcers, services organisations. People who can sell solutions, consultancies," Mannix said. "Web developers are selling our product, because it's out of the box. So they can make a lot more margin."

Mannix said he thought Lifecycle, a Microsoft .NET solution, had good potential for local resellers as more companies sought better ways to securely monitor and manage workers offsite.

"Every company has processes, but they need to manage those processes and that poses a series of risks," he said.

Mannix spoke to CRN at an ATS launch last week for 37 new members. Elcom developed the ATS' new website for promoting innovative Australian technology companies here and overseas.

David Campbell, NSW minister for regional development, small business and the Illawarra, said the ATS had also started a demonstration program for members last year.

The NSW government had committed $744,000 to the project that had already resulted in $640,000 in sales, expected to climb to $13.8 million in the next 12 months, Campbell said.

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