Peregrine users dismiss financial strife

Local users of Peregrine Systems' customer support and IT asset-tracking software are relaxed about the US company's drastic reversal of fortune, though some say they are watching carefully for further developments.

Local users of Peregrine Systems’ customer support and IT asset-tracking software are relaxed about the US company’s drastic reversal of fortune, though some say they are watching carefully for further developments.

Peregrine recently announced it would be cutting 1400 jobs, or 48% of its workforce, in the next few weeks in an effort to streamline its business.

Peregrine also owns Remedy, whose call centre support solutions are more widely used in New Zealand, and formerly IBM-owned parts of the Tivoli operation.

“As we understand it, there’s nothing more than a reorganisation,” says Vodafone spokesman Raphael Hilbron. “We don’t expect any adverse effect on us.” Vodafone’s local support is provided by Planwell Technologies.

Vodafone NZ uses Peregrine only for its internal IT helpdesk, not its customer support systems, he says. Even if Peregrine collapses and no one else picks up the products, “we would migrate to something else through our established business continuity plan”.

TelstraClear, it seems, made the decision to migrate away from Remedy at a good time.

“As part of our integration plans we are exiting Remedy and moving to Clarify,” says spokesman Ralph Little. TelstraClear has been aware of the company’s difficulties, he says, but made its decision before the problems became evident.

Unisys, said to have Peregrine in its kit of integration tools for implementation with customers, declines any comment on its involvement with the company or the impact of its decline.

Peregrine, which took over the business of its rival Remedy last year, has seen its chief executive and chief financial officer resign over queried sums in the company’s accounts, and two successive auditing firms dismissed.

Peregrine’s Asia-Pacific operation has been drastically shrunk and its New Zealand office has been closed as part of swinging head-count reductions.

Peregrine fired Andersen before the preparation of its most recent annual results and brought in KPMG to do its auditing. KPMG found as much as $US100m that it suggested had been incorrectly counted as revenue.

KPMG informed Peregrine that approximately $35 million of the questionable transactions were with KPMG and KPMG Consulting. Peregrine then dismissed KPMG.

A local source close to Peregrine, who asked not to be identified, says the disputed amounts related to “sales” made to resellers and integrators and were incorrectly credited, as none or comparatively little of the software had been sold to end users. The dispute, he suggests, is a technical matter of abiding by US accounting standards.

Between 1996 and this year it acquired not only Remedy, but also e-commerce and supply chain specialists Harbinger and Extricity and IBM’s Tivoli Service Desk application. The supply chain business has already been sold.

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More about AndersenAndersenClarifyExtricityIBM AustraliaKPMGPeregrine SystemsTelstraClearTivoliUnisys AustraliaVodafone

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