Integrated service solutions for the enterprise and independent

Independent consultants and professional service organisations will soon be bombarded with a series of new applications based around the internet.

US-based professional service application provider Niku has launched its Asia Pacific operations in Sydney.

Headed by ex-SAP Global Partner Program senior vice president, Sanjay Gupta, Niku Asia Pacific is the fourth major office for the two-year old operation, which is headquarted in Redwood City, California. The organisation recently opened offices in the UK and Amsterdam.

Gupta says Niku is the first provider of its kind in the Australian marketplace. He said Niku provides integrated service applications, including project management, resource management, sales and marketing and practice management solutions to service organisations. Departments within companies could implement Niku's in-house developed applications which are then accessed via an intranet, Gupta explained.

Additionally, an internet portal, known as iNiku will be available for independent consultants, providing enterprise applications and solutions and customised services such a travel, insurance and news information, he said.

Gupta said Niku will begin offering services to local organisations and independents in the IT, management consulting, legal, accounting and marketing industries.

While Gutpa was unable to name any local prospective clients at this stage, he said the organisation is hoping to have some Australia customers signed up shortly.

"Asia Pacific, in particular Australia will be very strong for us. Australia is one of the leaders in Asia in terms of services," he said.

According to Gupta, two-thirds of the Australia economy is now service based and 23 per cent of exports are services based.

"There are very big opportunities [here] . . . nobody else really has end-to-end integrated solutions for services [organisations]," Gupta said.

"Fifty per cent of enterprises with over 500 employers will put a system like ours in place in the next two to three years," he said.

According to Gupta, the Australia office is expected to generate about $10 million in revenues in its first year. He said current annual revenues for the US operation are between $15-20 million.

Gupta said Niku would draw heavily on partnerships and alliances. He said the organisation is hoping to build relationships with local systems integrators, content providers and service providers in the coming months.

An agreement is already in place with ZDNet to provide local IT news and information and an announcement is expected in the next week in relation to a travel partner.

Gupta said much of Niku Asia Pacific's initial work would be based around building a marketplace or community for independent consultants and enterprise departments, especially focussed in services.

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