Commsoft looks to future

Loss-making telecomms software maker CommSoft sees its future in customer management and monitoring internet use rather than in PBX systems.

Loss-making telecomms software maker CommSoft sees its future in customer management and monitoring internet use rather than in PBX systems.

New managing director Mark Lunt announced this week that CommSoft's expected profit of $A6.6 million would be closer to a loss of $A17 million. CommSoft, which is listed on both the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges, recently shed around a third of its 128 staff in an effort to cut costs and Lunt wants monthly costs cut further from around $1.2 million to $300,000.

CommSoft has three flagship products: CallMaster, which monitors and controls a company’s PBX system; NetMaster, which serves a similar role for online activity; and the recently acquired Brains, a customer management and contact centre package.

“CallMaster is a mature product and we see growth there as steady rather than spectacular. NetMaster and Brains are really the future of the company,” says Lunt.

Lunt says the trial implementation of Brains at Waikato-based Diary Group subsidiary RD1 is up in the air following the dairy mega-merger.

“It’s either a great opportunity for us or the end of the project. Hopefully it’s an opportunity,” says Lunt. He has yet to find out whether the merger will mean some other technology deployed elsewhere in the group is rolled out or whether the Brains pilot will continue.

Lunt is hopeful the company won't have to lay off any more staff. "I’m not expecting any and next time we talk about staff levels I’d hope it’s to announce an increase.”

Lunt has only been with CommSoft for eight weeks. He came on board after the previous management team left following the previous year’s $A6.25 million loss. One of Lunt’s jobs has been to refocus the software development teams in Auckland and Sydney. Part of that redirection has seen functionality added to CallMaster, specifically at the request of CommSoft’s UK distributor.

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