Oxygen on high at Sydney opening

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A New Zealand-based SAP reseller has set up shop in Sydney after experiencing strong growth in its chosen Australian entry point of Melbourne.

A New Zealand-based SAP reseller has set up shop in Sydney after experiencing strong growth in its chosen Australian entry point of Melbourne.

Mike Smith, CEO of Oxygen Business Solutions, quipped that the SAP reseller would bring a breath of fresh air into NSW's services market. One staff member had been stationed there for a year, but it was time to actually establish an office, he said.

The company has opened doors in curved, ground floor premises nestling up to HP's regional headquarters in Sydney's IT industry zone of North Ryde.

"We're definitely not hot air," he said. "SAP is doing very well this year, with 30 percent year-on-year growth. There's a lot of project work and upgrade work."

Oxygen -- with Smith's motto of "breathing life into businesses" -- specialised in SAP-based services for the mining, manufacturing and supply chain sectors. Those verticals were booming, Smith said.

"A couple of years ago, we had 220 people [across the whole company]. We have 75 people in Melbourne. We have got to the point where, if we're going to be serious about Sydney, we have to be there," he said.

The service provider had won about 65 customers in three years, mostly in Australia. The company had identified its niche and stuck with it, Smith said.

Australian and New Zealand businesses faced the same issues, such as IT complexity, he said.

"My model is, if you can develop a capacity in your supply chain, you have a competitive advantage," he said. "We're finding that people want to connect to their suppliers and stakeholders and do e-commerce."

Smith emphasised that Oxygen promoted a work/life balance, flexible working arrangements, and "treated people like adults". This was a major advantage in attracting quality staff and keeping a competitive edge against giants in the field such as IBM, he said.

SAP was an excellent platform for helping clients fill those needs and improve their productivity. Oxygen was an entirely SAP shop but would consider branching out if it seemed appropriate, Smith added.

"We're in love with Geraldine McBride. Well, that's what we're going to tell her anyway," Smith said.

SAP MD and CEO Geraldine McBride flew in to officiate at Oxygen's Sydney office launch on Tuesday.

"We had a bunch of suppliers, business partners and about 30 people from SAP," Smith said. "Plus a string quartet."

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