Reincarnated Sydney ISV and services provider Blue Lava Solutions opens an R&D facility on the Central Coast next month to intensify its focus on software development.
Ben Hamilton, director of Blue Lava, said the new R&D centre near Gosford was part of the CRM and portal software company's rebirth after buying out US owner, The IT Factory, in January after it entered liquidation.
“We're an IT company that's taken on the world -- or at least the US. My partner and I founded it and we sold it to the US company, and they had visions to go to the NASDAQ and all those things and they just wanted to close the door on us,” Hamilton said. “That company was being wound up ... we thought we'd take the company back.”
Hamilton said discussions with a potential local channel had already started, although a channel strategy wouldn't actually be formalised until the New Year.
“That's more a result of our focus this year on commercialising our product,” he said. “The official launch of our R&D centre is going to be mid-November.
About six of Blue Lava's 12 Sydney staff may transfer to the new R&D centre.
While having its own R&D centre on the Central Coast was unlikely to promote its services to Sydney-based clientele, Hamilton said it reflected Blue Lava's shift in strategy to focusing on products rather than services.
The company's new portal product for SMBs, using IBM's SMB-focused Express range of re-jigged and scaled-back software, should become available in December, he said.
Hamilton said the IT Factory had been a big partner of IBM -– it was Lotus' largest ISV -- and Blue Lava would maintain a Big Blue relationship. Blue Lava's previous focus had been larger companies, but with IBM's shift towards the SMB market Blue Lava would do the same.
“Now the new Express products have come out, we're going into SMBs as well. It's where we wanted to go and IBM wants to go there but it's been impractical before now,” Hamilton said.
Blue Lava has traditionally been strong in finance, insurance and manufacturing verticals and will try to keep those customer relationships strong. However, the new portal product would be more generalised in application, he said.
The original company was founded in 1997 as Credenza Pty Ltd.