TechnologyOne takes on Cloud competitors

Cloud model, customer service overhaul on cards

ASX-listed business software provider TechnologyOne (ASX:TNE) has restructured its business as it sets its sights on winning Cloud business from overseas vendors, such as SAP and Oracle.

The company recently developed a Cloud Computing Suite called C2 which is a re-architecture of its products for the Cloud.

According to executive chairman, Adrian Di Marco, its C2 strategy will offer a markedly different approach from other vendors, which are building cloud strategies around the existing architecture of their products.

“You architect an application from the ground up for the Cloud because that’s where you get the compelling value proposition so people get all the benefits of the Cloud," he said. "We’re saying it is time for us to rethink and not to do what Gartner calls 'Cloud washing'."

Cloud washing is defined as adding Cloud features to pre-existing services. According to Di Marco, Salesforce is one exception.

“They’ve done [Cloud computing] properly and architected from the ground up for the Cloud," he said. "You can get away with cloud washing for a while because people don’t really understand the cloud but as people become more sophisticated, they are going to say "this is what we are looking for'."

He said that TechnologyOne is doing what Salesforce did 10 years ago.

“We can improve on what they did 10 years ago and get ahead of them because they were early adapters," he said. "Like all early adapters they’ve made some inherent mistakes and we can fix those mistakes because we’re coming in now.”

However, Di Marco does not see Salesforce as a competitor.

“We’re happy for people to commute to Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) because we’re aimed at the whole enterprise from financial to logistics and project management,” he said.

On the other hand, he does count Oracle and SAP as competition. In a previous Computerworld Australia interview, Di Marco said the vendors struggled to be solution providers.

“A big part of our business is replacing Oracle applications because people are dissatisfied with them," he said. "When you win sites like Melbourne University from overseas vendors it says something."

He said people don’t buy its software because it is an Australian company, but in spite of it.

“People have this cultural cringe because they say `how can you possibly compete with Oracle and SAP?” he said. "It’s a hard job but we do it well."

According to Di Marco, more people are coming back to market as they replace their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

“We see this as a day of reckoning because they’re replacing SAP or Oracle systems with our offerings," he said.

TechnologyOne also plans to improve its customer service model by creating what Di Marco calls a “compelling experience”, using skills adapted from the hospitality industry.

“For example, If you’ve got a problem with a hotel and you go to the concierge, `my room smells’ he doesn’t say `not my problem, go to housekeeping’ he will say `I will fix it’," he said. "We think this is important because people are sick of poor service and people passing the buck in the enterprise space."

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAu

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