Northern Territory IT services company eNTITy1 has won a place on the panel of approved suppliers for small system development in a $21 million government contract.
The recently ASX-listed company has also been shortlisted as prime contractor and as a sub-contractor with partner IPEX Information Technology Group for the government outsourcing contract for desktops worth $120 million over three years.
While the desktop deal is not expected to be finalised until December, the company is looking at taking on more staff and expanding into interstate and overseas markets.eNTITy1's managing director Prins Ralston said although the tender process required significant investment, the returns would give the company more marketability.
"It has benefits for the company in terms of a better order book and it allows us to look at staffing strategies," he said.eNTITy1 has already opened a Victorian office and dabbled in overseas consulting contracts, as well as conducting a successful IPO just over a month ago. The company raised $5 million through the share issue which it will use for software infrastructure and equipment as well as for developing an e-commerce portal and educational providing English and technology training to China.
"We closed oversubscribed," Ralston said of the nail biting experience of listing on the stock market. "We defied the trend in the market and closed very well on the first day and since then have traded very comfortably. Given the state of the market we are doing very well.
"It is very tricky because the fundamentals of the business are very good and we have a very loyal following but nobody is bigger than the market."eNTITy1 operates three business divisions - application service provision, business innovation and Internet services and consulting. At this stage, its Victorian operations deal solely in the consulting space, but Ralston said expansion were just around the corner.
"The differences in the Victorian market are fairly significant in terms of market reach. But we have been here [in the NT] for a long time and while Victoria has a strong shareholder input we are still working on building the depth of relationships."
Working with outsourcing partners, Melbourne-based IPEX, eNTITy1 also plans to take its consulting services overseas.
"The issue is getting the first large project through the door. We have been chewing at bits and pieces but we need something really substantial to really get going," Ralston said.
The company has also been involved in building the Territory's burgeoning IT industry, signing a joint venture with the university and Darwin International to set up an incubator centre. The centre will help start up companies through business, market and product development to get to the stage where they are commercially viable and attract investors.
This will help put eNTITy1 in a strong position to get a piece of the tender action one way or another as one of the conditions of the tender is that the winning bidder will have to engage and help foster the local NT IT industry.
"In terms of local companies there aren't many home grown companies up here," Ralston said.. "In that respect we are a stand out from the crowd."