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The founder of Australia’s largest enterprise software company, TechnologyOne, has unveiled a bold vision for the future, with a new mobile SaaS suite that he believes will put pressure on the existing customer bases of enterprise heavyweights Oracle and SAP.

Addressing an audience of 1,600 customer delegates for more than 90 minutes at the biannual Evolve conference on the Gold Coast, TechOne executive chairman Adrian Di Marco unveiled the company’s new Ci Anywhere suite of SaaS enterprise services.

The new suite is designed to work on any browser and any device without the need to install software, enabling users to reach their enterprise applications home screen via a URL.

The focus of the new SaaS suite is to provide intuitive front office applications for enterprise users in a style reminiscent of Apple’s App Store. TechnologyOne’s Enterprise App Store, which will be available for users in March, will display downloadable applications complete with user ratings and download counts.

Talking about TechnologyOne’s evolution in the Cloud space, Mr Di Marco, said that the company had spent $80 million developing its Cloud offering so that it could become a SaaS provider in the same vein as Google, Facebook and Salesforce.

“Companies such as Google, Facebook and Salesforce have become leaders in the cloud, because they build and run their own software, and continually invest to improve it. It’s called Software as a Service. In the same way, we build, run and optimise our software to run on the TechnologyOne Cloud. This is the future of enterprise software and it is available from us now, and allows us to take care of the technology for our customers, so they can focus on running their business.

“Those companies don’t use a Cloud provider to deliver their services, they are all their own Cloud provider,” he said. “They use a marriage of software and infrastructure to deliver a service.

“We decided we wanted to be a real Cloud provider so we made a decision to invest in software as a service. With the TechnologyOne Cloud, we build the software and run it for you.”

Mr Di Marco, who founded TechnologyOne 26 years ago, said that the new Ci Anywhere technology is a quantum leap on anything available from its multinational competitors (including Oracle and SAP).

TechnologyOne Cloud, is proven, with customers including the newly formed Noosa Council already deriving cost savings and operational benefits, according to Mr Di Marco.

“Despite starting with zero IT infrastructure or staff, the new Council and TechnologyOne implemented the solution in just four months, with the Council becoming fully operational in January 2014. Similar council implementations using out dated technology models typically take 12-18 months,” he said.

Talking about the soon to be released Ci Anywhere suite, which was demonstrated to the audience, Mr Di Marco said:

“Ci Anywhere has a beautiful, simple interface and works natively on all smart mobile devices (as well as traditional PCs and laptops), so anyone with a 3G network can use it on any device, anywhere, anytime.

“Also, we have worked hard to offer our customers a simple and evolutionary path forward. Our customers have the flexibility of continuing to use our existing Ci software, switching to the new Ci Anywhere software, or opting for a mixture of both. The same software can be hosted on-premise or on the TechnologyOne Cloud. The new platform and products run in parallel to their existing investment, without the requirement for re-licensing fees or re-implementation.

“We truly believe that the future is smart mobile devices driving enterprise software”.

The company also launched the TechnologyOne Enterprise App Store, which will enable customers anywhere in the world to download Ci Anywhere Apps, providing new features, functions and fixes, as well as give feedback and rate each app.

Mr Di Marco said the new approach to the delivery of enterprise software eliminated the need for complex, costly upgrades and enabled customers to first trial apps in a test environment, then propagate to their production environment.

“Our entire TechnologyOne enterprise suite has been simplified into hundreds of individual Enterprise Apps, which can be selected and progressively deployed as required,” he said.

“This approach also gives us the ability to analyse user behaviour and receive feedback direct from our customers on a scale never before seen. The unique ‘hot-house’ environment and continual development cycle will make us even more innovative and agile, and as a company we know we will be able to keep our R&D spend in line with our expectations.

“The huge investment we decided to make three years ago has proven to be the right call. Enterprise level organisations are announcing cloud-first strategies and mobile devices are now ubiquitous in the workplace,” Mr Di Marco said. “We truly believe that this is the future of enterprise software, today.”

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Stan Beer

 

Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 25 years of experience working in Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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