Maestro busy conducting IPO and major new Telstra deal

Business process software developer Maestro Corporation has its hands full at the moment as the company looks to capitalise on a recent deal signed with Telstra, and readies itself for an intended float, believed to be imminent.

In a partnership deal orchestrated by Telstra, Maestro will be providing its eight-product integrated set - Maestro Suite - which includes customer relationship management, human resources management and supply chain management software - for the telco to move into the lucrative SME business processes software market.

In addition to the Melbourne-based developer, Telstra will also bring 3Com, IBM and Lotus to the table as it looks to shift from a "pipes provider" to a viable "end-to-end business solutions provider" for the SME market, according to John Callaghan, CEO of Maestro.

In return, as the solutions offered will be Telstra-branded, Callaghan claims Maestro will be able to leverage Telstra's clout within the SME market to build its own market share and presence. Similarly, Telstra will act as a qualified leads generator for Maestro with subsequent fulfilment farmed out to its resellers.

With the Telstra deal underway, the company is now busy preparing for an IPO slated for either the post-Olympics/pre-Christmas period or Q1 next calendar year. Although unable to give specifics regarding the IPO, Callaghan did say the company has raised private equity to the tune of $4.25 million for the listing, and expects to generate $30-40 million from a successful float.

Once Maestro is all cashed up, Callaghan will be aiming the developer's sights firmly at breaking into the potentially enormous North American SME market.

"On the back of floating the company we'll be able to move into the US market," Callaghan said. "The capital will give us a war chest to continue [our] strategies."

Central to Maestro's success will be the signing of key resellers in the SME market. Callaghan said Maestro is also vigorously recruiting resellers under its newly devised three-tier strategy. Looking to appoint around 30 resellers in Australia and New Zealand, Maestro is currently running with around 20, according to Callaghan.

"It's a big investment on behalf of Maestro and the reseller," he said, "and is dependent on the coverage a reseller has within those three tiers." Callaghan claims resellers can expect to make decent margins on the software but stand to make a killing by leveraging additional services to wrap around the Maestro suite.

Maestro was formed late last year when parent company and Melbourne-based integrator Independent Computers Australia (ICA) offset its development products labelled the Maestro Suite. The company has also just appointed former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett as the company's non-executive chairman.

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