Sydney ISV motors ahead

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A Sydney ISV, IDS Enterprise Systems, has launched ERP software the company's CEO believes could take the global automotive dealership industry by storm.

A Sydney ISV, IDS Enterprise Systems, has launched ERP software the company's CEO believes could take the global automotive dealership industry by storm.

Gordon Towell, CEO at IDS, said the company had launched platform and database-independent, J2EE and Java-based "MotoV8" ERP software at the International Motor Show in Sydney on 17 October and that every company who had seen it wanted to know more about the product, which he believed was unique in the market.

"These dealers, they're selling 20,000 cars a year, [handling] billions of dollars, yet they're running shonky systems cobbled together over the last 20 or 30 years. They need a partner system, a warranty system and a vehicle system," he said.

Towell said the system's main competitors were the UK's Kerridge Automotive Dealer Management Systems and the US' Reynolds & Reynolds but neither offered an integrated, modern ERP-type system.

"It's not rocket science but [our competitors] often come from an accounting background or something like that and the products don't integrate fully," Towell said.

He said a beta version of MotoV8 had already been sold to Hunter Holden and industry response at launch suggested that a deal with General Motors dealerships in Thailand could be in the can.

"Early indications are this will be enormous. We've only launched it today but we're fending them off. We're telling people to queue in an orderly fashion or it will get too embarrassing," he quipped.

Towell credited IBM's partner program as offering genuine benefits that had genuinely benefited his company. IBM added a dollar to every marketing dollar IDS provided and had helped IDS bring MotoV8 to market after three years of development.

"IBM has really listened to the marketplace and committed real dollars and real resources to helping us expand our successes not just in Australia but through the region," he said.

IDS Enterprise Systems uses IBM eServers to power many of its enterprise management software products.

IBM has just enhanced its global program for ISV partners, ramping up co-marketing initiatives that strengthen its focus on SMBs and vertical markets.

David Reeve, manager of developer relations at IBM Australia and New Zealand, said Big Blue's ISV Advantage program of technical enablement and "teaming" support for software developers had been enhanced.

"There's been an extension to what we do in co-marketing in Australia. These agreements we form, we look at them on a case-by-case basis [to see how we can work together]," he said.

Reeve said four Australian ISVs -- Melbourne's Pronto Software and MidComp and Sydney's IDS Enterprise Systems and Axe Online -- had joined the program since it began in May, but IBM sought more best-of-breed niche developers.

Steven Worrall, general manager for IBM's SMB business in Australia and New Zealand, said the program had been re-focused on SMBs. In the US, the program had focused on specific verticals in that category -- such as retail, financial services and manufacturing -- but here it would offer support across the board.

 "Things our partners can do for us are important. We're looking for someone to help solve a business problem rather than looking for new technology," Worrall said.

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