Publishing software giant Quark has taken the first steps to regaining market share lost to rival Adobe InDesign, inking a new distribution deal with Scholastic Australia.
The move expanded Quark’s presence in Australia from six people under previous distributor Modulo Systems to around 300 staff at Quark and Scholastic. Quark has employed two Australian representatives.
The investment would expand the company‘s ability to respond better to customers and “change the image of the company”, according to Quark product market analyst Louis Landa.
Landa, visiting from the US for the announcement, said the move is part of a shift in the company’s culture, to a more global and less “Denver-focused” model.
The company would also rejig its Australian pricing model bringing the local price of QuarkXPress more into line with the US price, satisfying a common customer complaint.
The local operation would also provide free technical support by telephone to registered customers and, if necessary, on-site support for its larger customers.
Quark and Scholastic would also provide more channel support by training resellers in its products and accrediting training centres such as AppleCentre in Taylor Square, Sydney.
For corporate customers, Quark would provide on-site training and, if a suitable computer lab was not available on site, would arrange for outside premises.
The Scholastic deal would help Quark reach education customers.
Daevid Richards, sales manager at Quark in Australia, said several universities and colleges had switched to InDesign due to problems obtaining products and support from Quark.
This had led to “a generation” of newly-graduated designers whose training did not include Quark.
Scholastic, with its specialised access to the education channel, hoped to change that.
Scholastic’s Wayne Cooper, sales manager, new media, said the company also handles AutoCad, 3D Studio Max and Wacom graphics tablets, and was no stranger to the graphics design market.
He said that the previous distributor’s job was made more difficult by the lack of a local presence for Quark.