System integrator and cloud services provider Fronde earlier this month announced it had acquired Australia-based OnlineOne.
The move was a natural progression for an integrator that has transformed itself in a few years.
OnlinOne adds another 14 staff to the expanding New Zealand reseller’s headcount of more than 310. But more importantly OnlinOne brings expertise around NetSuite’s ERP solutions, fleshing out Fronde’s cloud services offering that it began to hit its stride in the cloud, beginning with its relationship with Salesforce.com
“We’ve been around for 21 years but we’ve really hit our stride in the last three years,” says Fronde CEO Ian Clarke. “We’ve been focusing our point of difference with our cloud integration story, with our Google, Salesforce, Amazon and NetSuite brands we’re taking to market, and making sure we translate that to our clients.”
Fronde became a NetSuite partner earlier this year. With the acquisition, Clarke says this gives the company a broader presence in Australia, where it has been working for the last three years, and additional expertise that it can port back to its New Zealand operations.
The overall transition of the company has improved its lot, with revenue growing from $25 million a few years ago to more than $47 million for the year ending March 2012. Driving that has been Fronde's move to cloud integration.
“We’ve been a software developer and system integrator for most our history,” Clarke says. “When we do a great job, our customers are happy. But when they don’t have any more development to do there isn’t much more opportunity other than support engagements. With our family of cloud brands, we’re relevant all the time to transform our clients’ business, whether they want to simplify, or take cost out or improve collaboration.”
Even though it is a New Zealand success story, Clarke says the organisation is conintuously learning how to develop its cloud integration business.
“We are still learning how to grow new customers,” he says. “We’ve been good about getting customers and growing with them for a long time. And that’s been about good delivery, clear expectations, and good outcomes.”
The addition of NetSuite, Clarke says, and the expertise from OnlineOne will help the company open doors in new verticals, especially online retail and transport.
“It has all the obvious benefits of a cloud product: elasticity, scalability, and ease of implementation,” says Clarke. He adds that integration with SAP and Oracle databases means that division of larger organisations can scale up with NetSuite with access to legacy systems.