Canberra's outsourcing battle heats up

While Com Tech Integration Services officially stepped into the heat of Canberra's outsourcing battle recently, the company refuses to believe the Com Tech name will seal its success.

Tony Whigham, CTIS's managing director, said the completion of a lengthy battle to secure government status as a small to medium enterprise - effective from the first of March - sees the company detached from the "back-end" of Com Tech Communications' successful, Sydney-based operations.

The result is an independent company open to separate audits, despite the fact it must pay Com Tech a licence fee for the use of its name.

Whigham and his 35 local staff are now in the "early days" of pushing hard into Canberra's competitive government-based IT outsourcing market where the likes of IBM Global Services, CSC, Unisys and EDS dominate.

Choosing the right business partners and creating cash flow are the most immediate demands, Whigham reports.

"It's one thing to work as a subcontractor and another thing to be independent and remain profitable," he said.

Whigham said he is confident about the company's ability to succeed over the next 12 months, but remains philosophical about the reality of competition.

"An invitation to the party doesn't mean you will go home with a lady," he said.

Whigham is relying on the "great asset" that is his people and is determined to offer an attractive poach-resistant environment.

"If I had reservations that would be a very, very, bad start," he said.

But he believes the "considerable amount of money" spent on back-end systems to make the operation work is worth the risk.

"Only time will tell," he said.

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