Auckland-based QED Software's signing of three local ASP customers has boosted its momentum as it moves into the north American market.
Installation is now taking place on the contracts, sealed just before Christmas.
The company's expansion into North America has also been helped by large Californian freight container company Nova showcasing QED's Hercules software to potential US buyers. The software is aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, helping them to control transport logistics and move their systems to the internet. QED says Hercules can save companies three times their subscription fee. It was originally developed for Tapper Transport of Auckland and other customers include Hooker Pacific, JD Lyons and Phoenix Freight.
Hercules was produced in 1996 after 35,000 hours of development. Finding the first buyers involved cold-calling 400 customers, the company says.
The push into an ASP model on monthly rental has been boosted by a $4 million capital injection from Wellington-based AMP Henderson Capital.
Marketing manager Andrew Blewden says QED will continue to build New Zealand sales, aiming to be number one in the domestic market, but Nova's Long Beach market alone is six times the size of New Zealand. Nova is Long Beach’s second largest operator and it was due to go live with QED technology this month.
Blewden says Nova will be the company's key reference site in the US. Exporters say reference sites are essential as they allow US customers to view Kiwi technology locally at American firms.
He says QED has had people based in the US for six months working on its push there. Consultants Ernst & Young were commissioned for extra market research. A local consultant was also employed for scoping work, who will "open doors" for the company.
“Our intention is to have a permanent sales team over there. We have just employed a sales and marketing manager, Kiwi Greg Mendenez, to work two weeks out of four in the US with the brief to set up local business,” Blewden says. The firm expects to have a staff of five to 10 representatives there within six months.
QED believe Hercules technology is “very good” compared to rivals in the US market. The company is also eyeing exports to Australia. “There, we are looking at a channel approach, finding the right partners to sell the product on license. We haven’t confirmed things yet, but we want to avoid splitting our resources too widely,” Blewden says.