A COMMITMENT to a pure channel model has enabled a home-grown business software house to compete successfully against larger global rivals at home and abroad.
Auckland-based ERP vendor Greentree International celebrated its 500th install this month by highlighting the role channel partners have played in its success, claiming March and April have been its strongest to date.
The company also says it has established a firm foothold in overseas markets, most notably in Australia, by expanding its network of resellers.
Hobart reseller Synateq, who became a Greentree dealer last May, secured the 500th customer - Melbourne-based Select Managed Funds, an investment firm listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
Peter Dickinson, Greentree executive director, says the company’s channel model makes it stand out over larger competitors.
“You have to ask if the big global firms really understand how to partner. Few have an absolutely pure partner model,” he says.
“We never break from our partner model and have no interest in building a services business.”
Dickinson says the Greentree suite is designed squarely for the mid-market, while the big players do not understand the economics of this space, and their products - dragged down to fit this segment - often miss the mark.
“It is like asking a super-tanker manufacturer to build you a family boat. Mid-market companies perform the same sophisticated transactions as large enterprises, but just not millions of them,” he says.
The Greentree Business Management suite was launched in 1998, building on the heritage of its predecessor, CBA accounting software.
After initial hiccups following the dotcom bust, sales of the suites have increased steadily over the last two years, says Dickinson.
The company’s partner landscape has also changed significantly in this time.
“A number of our partners have consolidated, but their capacity has expanded and they are becoming more specialised,” he says.
Greentree does not enjoy the geographical coverage and brand awareness to take advantage of all market opportunities, but it will add resellers to fill the gaps, says Dickinson.
This will be done selectively.
“Our products require a complex solution sell. A key talent partners need to have is business knowledge. They must be able to assess the nature of the client’s business and recommend and implement the right applications,” he says.