Issue No. 35 - June/July 2007
Right forecast helps plans succeed
Bringing a globally recognised product into a new market is no cakewalk, as Retain International’s Dean Lewis knows well.
An experienced software reseller, Dean has been marketing Retain’s staff and resource management sotware for six months after being appointed the firm’s Australian representative.
Most of Dean’s clients are large Sydney and Brisbane-based financial community members and he wants to expand outside the sector. At the moment he has one client in SA and is on a drive to gain more.
Besides SA’s financial community, Dean is targetting the defence industry which will be able to see immediate benefit when Retain is integrated with their existing systems.
Retain has been marketed widely for about 15 years since being developed in the UK by two brothers, financial professionals working for KPMG. Dean says it now claims 85% coverage of the banking, audit and finance sectors in the UK.
The Big Four accounting firms use Retain globally as do PKF, BDO and other corporates in Australia.
Since he is SA-based Dean is committed to supporting SA companies first. An advantage in that SA’s relatively small size makes it easier to explore the potential for Retain outside its traditional markets.
“Retain is proved world-wide, but it’s very difficult to start a new product in a new market,” he says.
“Cold calling is hard slog and it’s hard to get to a decision-maker. Most of the work thus far has come from referrals.
There are competitive products, but they are not as configurable, without web-based operation or with limited reporting options.
“Retain’s number-one competitor is Excel – but Microsoft Belgium purchased Retain.”
Dean calls the product a resource for planning against projects at task level. Retain can be a stand-alone system or can integrate with SQL Oracle databases and import database formats.
It’s not a project m...