It’s been a year where partner relationships have paid off strongly for Optimation, which has expanded its business in Australia and made first steps into Asia and North America.
In September, Google upgraded its relationship with Optimation, which became a DEP partner, one of only two in New Zealand (the other is Fronde).
“It means their commitment is much greater, in partner management and gives us access to technical and sales support,” says executive chairman Neil Butler. “We’ve built a business plan together for Australasia.”
He says the relationship is particularly strong in geospatial areas. “It’s thought that around 80 per cent of data these days has a geographical aspect. Google maps allows us to provide strong analytics and presentation. We’ve got use cases across all industry sectors.”
That adds up to more than 30 customers in Australia and New Zealand. They include Woolworth, Alliance, Western Power, Suncorp and the Northern Territory government in Australia; TradeMe, Vodafone, 2degrees, Tourism NZ and Auckland, Waikato and Canterbury universities in New Zealand.
Butler says Optimation has formed a tightly focused separate unit, of 10 people, to handle that part of the business.
Google then introduced them to Thoughtweb in Australia, which led to another partnership.
“Thoughtweb offers distributed decision management,” he says. “There are multiple data sources but different people have different requirements. Thoughtweb provides a realtime dashboard that drives the relevant information. This fits perfectly on top of the Google stack.”
The Thoughtweb partnership was finalised in November.
Optimation has also formed partnerships in Asia and the US to provide financial services. “We’re delivering that out of New Zealand,” Butler says.
All this has led to substantial growth for Optimation in 2013. He says full time equivalent staff numbers have grown by more than 20%, despite the challenge is finding a depth of talent.
“We’re forecasting double-digit growth this financial year, and subsequently higher the next year. A lot of that is already booked. (Optimation’s financial year ends on March 31, 2014.)
“The ICT industry is on the upswing and is looking strong as the wider economy improves,” Butler says.