US firm Solomon Software is looking for Kiwi developers to build add-on products based around its core financials suite.
General manager of Auckland-based Solomon Software New Zealand Robert Gillespie says a successful complementary product would gain the benefits of Solomon's global distribution channel.
He cites the example of Solomon New Zealand's parent company Data Group which has developed a Solomon Software module called Fixed Assets. This was originally developed for the local client base but it is now being distributed to Australia, Canada and Vietnam.
Gillespie says the local operation is eager to work with software houses or developers who have ideas and an area of expertise which can extend Solomon's functionality.
The company is interested in two main areas of development. The first is creating software that meets the needs of a vertical industry such as dentists, lawyers or GPs.
"There are certain industries and sectors where New Zealand is recognised as a global leader - for example the dairy industry."
The alternative is writing a utility which has a more generic function such as a communications interface. For example Data Group has also developed a Solomon Software banking interface.
Gillespie's call to the development market is echoed by Patrick Shannon, Solomon Software international vice-president, who was in New Zealand recently. Ohio-based Shannon founded independent software developer SDG (Smith Dennis & Gaylord) which was acquired by Solomon in 1997. SDG, specialised in project management and wrote a project costing management system based around Solomon Software called Project Controller.
"We translated our expertise in project management into software but rather than reinvent a general ledger etc we partnered with Solomon."
Shannon says while he had a choice of software packages to build around, he chose Solomon because its financial system met the needs of SDG's target market and also because SDG developers liked the Solomon development tools.
Gillespie says developers have been slow to react to the opportunity to build applications for packages that are established in the market.
"We're trying to get developers to move away from the need to control the whole thing."
He says he is pushing this message now because Solomon New Zealand's parent company Data Group is on an acquisition trail. "This has highlighted to us that people have brilliant ideas but have no structure to sell and market their products. I'm saying to them that we've got the marketing structure. If they'd built for Solomon we'd be marketing those products today."
Solomon Software has seven resellers in New Zealand and 50 customer sites including Civil Aviation, the Order of St Johns, and Carlton & United Breweries.