THE folks at Zeacom are planning a big party to celebrate recent milestone achievements.
Not only has the contact centre software developer been in business ten years, on the eve of its anniversary Zeacom achieved Microsoft gold partner accreditation.
Marketing manager Mike Engle says the accreditation carries a lot of weight.
“It’s especially important offshore where potential customers don’t necessarily know Zeacom. The fact that the software has been Microsoft verified gives a level of comfort to customers,” he says.
He says the company has enjoyed a close relationship with Microsoft so moving to gold partner was a natural progression.
Steve Haddock, Microsoft partner group manager, says Zeacom is the first ISV in the country with a certification for Windows server.
“Zeacom has constantly hit its targets in the last decade,” he says.
Haddock says that while the company may need Microsoft less at a local level it will have access to global Microsoft services.
Engle attributes much of Zeacom’s success to the founder, Miles Valentine, and a core group of developers who have been with the company from the beginning.
Despite having offices in Sydney, Melbourne, London and the US, Engle says Zeacom is taking a slow, methodical approach to further expansion into export markets.
“Our products are already in 19 markets but the company is cognisant that when it enters a new area the footprint to support customers has to be there.”
He points to Zeacom’s move into the US market which was attempted several times without much success. “We had various arrangements and deals to represent us but it didn’t take off until the company was mature enough from a structure perspective to move people over and set up office. The difference now is that we’re on the ground, talking to customers and managing resellers.”
The expansion into international markets has led the company to rebrand its flagship product from Q-Master to Zeacom ContactCentre.
“As the company has grown internationally, the cost of trying to support multiple brands has become extremely expensive. People tend to refer to us by the company name rather than product.”
The new product name becomes standard next month.
Engle says Zeacom’s business philosophy has been to provide packaged products that are easy to administer. Prior to changing the product name, Zeacom conducted a survey in order to establish the key driver for purchasing.
“For customers it’s about simplicity of use and that’s why our byline now says ‘connect with ease’.”
He says the company is focused on deve-loping software products that don’t require professional services to implement.
“We don’t want financial gain from ser-vices. It also helps with the international model because the products can be sold through the channel.”
All the research and development is still done within New Zealand and Engle says the international offices are effectively for channel management and customer support.
“Any key issues come back to New Zealand. There is a significant cost advantage to develop locally and it also helps having the core team based here - it keeps them away from our big competitors in the US.”
Engle says that although the local market doesn’t reap huge revenue rewards it is as competitive and savvy as anywhere in the world.
“It’s a smallish market so everyone fights like hell for the dollar.”