Group takes developers worldwide

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A new global software group has been established to help software developers take their products to world markets.

Avanquest Global Software Publishing--the brainchild of the BVRP Software Group--consists of nine global software publishers and distributors including Queensland-based Mannacom, which have combined revenues of around $US80 million.

According to BVRP, the consortium provides software developers around the world with one source capable of translating, localising, marketing and selling their software through multiple distribution channels in North America, Europe, Australia and South Africa.

Participants include US-based Elibrium Software, a developer of retail software; BVRP USA, a business software publisher; ABSoft, a French software republisher; Kommunicate, a British distributor of enterprise software such as RightFax; GuildSoft, a UK publisher and distributor; MicroBasic, a German software republisher; Questar, an Italian distributor and republisher; South African publisher Phoenix Software and Mannacom.

These companies operate in territories registering over 80 percent of the world's total software sales, BVRP claimed.

James Mackay, business affairs manager at Mannacom in Brisbane, claimed Mannacom's participation would allow it to take products produced by developers in Australia and NZ to global markets at no cost.

He said a developer's software would be published in each country with the support, distribution and marketing activities. “We will also be able to offer Australia resellers a greater range of products [as a result],” he said.

Avanquest claimed it would have retail and VAR channel coverage in all markets. All member companies are involved in the product evaluation process and if conflicts exist in a particular region, it would alert the developer partner, the company claimed.

Jeffrey Tarter, industry analyst and Softletter editor, said for most developers penetrating foreign markets was a slow, expensive and risky proposition because each country's republishers and resellers wanted to negotiate unique contracts.

“Avanquest brings together the localisation and distribution process in one contract, which makes market penetration much faster and less costly,” he said.

Bruno Vanryb, founder and chairman of BVRP, said the number of new software titles available has exploded.

“But most of these new titles never reach the retail market due to cost and structural barriers and retail outlets are still responsible for the majority of all software sales. Avanquest can help developers reach a far wider base of potential customers than the Internet alone,” he claimed.

Avanquest said most of its software titles in the network fall into the categories of productivity tools and utilities. It claimed there is no other software publishing company offering the geographic coverage and range of services. It claimed to compete with Pearson (Macmillan) in the US and MediaGold in Europe.

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