US workflow vendor grows Aust presence

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US business process management software vendor HandySoft has opened an office in Australia and may expand its Australian channel in the wake of a large contract with QBE.

US business process management software vendor HandySoft has opened an office in Australia and may expand its Australian channel in the wake of a large contract with QBE.

Rob Whiter, general manager of HandySoft for Australia and New Zealand, said the Australian office would be the regional headquarters for the vendor in the Asia-Pacific nations excluding South Korea and Japan.

Following its first large Australian deal, with insurance company QBE, HandySoft had decided to commit further to Australia. Previously, had been active in Australia for a couple of years, maintaining a few technical staff here.

HandySoft was already working with Alphawest, LogicaCMG and partners in verticals such as the legal sector's Knowledge Partners. The vendor had also been in discussions with KAZ Group and Volante, Whiter said.

"We have built quite a good relationship with [Alphawest] and will continue to expand our channel relationships this year," he said.

The vendor had hired a channel manager, Anna Scorciapino, Whiter said.
 
HandySoft pushes a product called Governance Accelerator that aims to help large, listed companies adopt processes and reporting procedures enabling compliance with the US's Sarbanes-Oxley Act or Australia's CLERP 9 corporate governance reforms.

The vendor also sells BizFlow Enterprise Business Process Management, a platform for building and managing automated business processes. HandySoft claims to provide cheaper alternatives to applications offered by companies such as SAP, Whiter said.

George Bennett, vice-president of international sales at HandySoft, said the vendor's biggest difference between the US and Australian compliance needs was that Australian companies were less risk-averse.

"Although you want companies to disclose the risk, you don't want to impair businesses that want to take that risk," he said.

HandySoft, a US$48 million company, had growth in the South Korean market of about 60 percent in the past year. It was expecting about 60 percent growth in this year, Bennett said.

Some 40 percent of its business in the US came from Federal Government deals. Much of the rest came from second-tier banking and finance. "First-tier has done [corporate governance] already. And we're heavily targeting the re-regulated utilities," Bennett said.

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