Strategic review refines focus at Simpl

Strategic review refines focus at Simpl

Oracle Primavera business sold to Fusion5.

The Simpl Group has spun off its projects unit and sold its Oracle Primavera business following a strategic review. The company will move from broad-based services to specialise in software that facilitates the exchange of information within enterprises, and between enterprises and customers they serve, says CEO Bennett Medary.

“The focus is very much around integration and software development that brings information together in new forms that support people working on a collaborative basis,” he says.

Although Simpl is a healthcare sector specialist, the new focus applies to any community of interest, he says, adding it could be applied to information exchange between local councils and ratepayers.

“The big opportunity now is to leverage IT to allow information to flow in new ways.”

Medary says the company identified a need to divest some of its activities after being a general services company for two decades.

The solutions business unit is now a separate company, Simpl Projects, led by Andrew Smith who previously ran the solutions unit. The unit’s six staff have transferred to the new company, and Medary says Simpl is now a customer of Simpl Projects and hires project management staff as needed.

The Oracle Primavera business has been sold to business applications-specialist services firm Fusion5. Oracle acquired Primavera Software and its Project Portfolio Management software line in 2008.

Two permanent Simpl staff who worked in that business will move across to Fusion 5, says Medary, with one based in Auckland and the other in Wellington.

Fusion5 ANZ managing director Rebecca Tohill says as well as the new resale rights, the additional customer base of about 40 to 50 companies was a key reason it wanted to add the Primavera capability.

“It gives us another thread in term of our Oracle relationship. It is a solution that many of our key customers have already or have an interest in buying.”

As part of the review, Simpl has also outsourced 91 servers, and support services, to CodeBlue.

To cater for the support services, which replace an agreement between Simpl and Integral Axon, CodeBlue has either redeployed staff from other parts of its business or made new hires.

Simpl’s CEO Bennett Medary describes the outsourcing of infrastructure as liberating, saying it frees the company to focus on things that add real value for customers.

“Other New Zealand IT companies could benefit from a reality check with regard to how they go about servicing and supporting their own IT infrastructures,” says Medary.

“I think that because our customers tend to be large corporates and large government departments, we tend to take on the mindset of those customers and think in big and complex terms. But we – and our colleagues in the IT business – are actually mid-sized businesses. We don’t have thousands of staff, we have hundreds. We don’t have hundreds of millions in revenue, we have tens of millions.”

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