Greentree growing in Australia

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New Zealand-based ERP developer Greentree International is expanding its channel in Australia, signing two consultancies and seeking a couple more in every major centre.

New Zealand-based ERP developer Greentree International is expanding its channel in Australia, signing two consultancies and seeking a couple more in every major centre.

Mark Foxton, channels director Australia for Greentree, said the company had signed Adelaide's Lee Green Consulting and Hobart's Synateq to its business partner program, bringing its total Australian partner count to 24.

'It's not a large number we want. I'm not in the business of signing them willy-nilly,' he said. 'Our growth in the last year was well over 50 percent. It was a pretty good year for us.'

Foxton said Greentree had about 250 customers for its Greentree ERP software and 1000 customers for that application's predecessor, CBA. The company was 100 percent channel-focused, with no direct sales division, he added.

'We sell through the resellers, so we have resellers in New Zealand, Australia, the UK, US and Canada,' Foxton said.

Greentree had been around since the 1980s, so had a long history in the market. The company had about 6.3 percent market share in New Zealand, he said.

CBA had been rewritten to form Greentree, which was object-oriented, 'very modern and nice' and easy to deploy for its target mid-market end-users, he said.

'A lot of our competitors have just made a very nice little front-end that makes it look nice in Windows,' Foxton said. 'Ours, it's not just a financial solution any more, it's a pretty comprehensive ERP solution specifically geared to the mid-market.'

While CBA had remained popular, Greentree had distribution, job costing, supply chain management, payroll, CRM and accounting functionality, he said.

Most rivals in the mid-market space provided accounting functionality only, Foxton said.

The vendor sought to partner consultancies and system integrators across all verticals. While the software was 'pretty much' out of the box, it wasn't really suited to pure box-droppers, he suggested.

Greentree's program was similar to that provided by most vendors, but had a special focus on market development funds and partner support, he said.

'We have Greentree partnering services [that] help the partners get up to speed and also provide training and ongoing qualification for partners. They also provide cover for partners of various companies when partners have too much work for their resources, [for example],' Foxton said.

Greentree also helped with the cost of recruiting and training new sales staff, he said.

Chris Rasmussen, director and owner of Hobart-based Synateq, said Greentree was expected to help generate further growth for Synateq, which was a young company formed in 2002.

Synateq already has US-based Cognos and Epicor on its books but thought an Australasian company made a nice addition, he said.
 
'We're moving fairly quickly. We are hoping that Greentree will be the next step up for us,' Rasmussen said. 'It's both the right price and the right level of function for the Tasmanian SMB market.

'There's a lot of people flying in from the mainland and there's a few people who have had a dabble in it one way or another, but I guess we see us as stepping up to the plate as far as resourcing it properly and providing the right level of support,' he added.

Synateq was ramping up its Greentree certification, but also saw benefits from extending support to Tasmania's existing CBA and Greentree users, Rasmussen said.

'As for growth, we are advertising for people -– we have got another two people on for Greentree. We see there is a lot of potential ... without any active marketing, we already have half a dozen organisations approaching us and registering to have a look at the software,' he said.

Synateq had signed one customer in the three or four weeks since inking the Greentree deal, and expected to have three by 30 June, Rasmussen said.

Lee Green Consulting has locations in Sydney and Adelaide. It also partners Microsoft and accounting software provider ACCPAC.

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