Software developer FileMaker has appointed Tech Pacific as its sole distributor throughout Australia and NZ, following the demise of Dataflow which left them without one of the major links in its channel.
For the last five weeks, FileMaker has been selling products out of its customer service group on a box-by-box basis in an effort to get stock out to its resellers. Steve McManus, general manager of FileMaker, Asia-Pacific, says he has a few more grey hairs following the frantic hunt for a replacement.
"These people are not set up to be a distributor," says McManus, "and they have worked extremely hard over the last six weeks under a lot of pressure. The lead up to the introduction of the GST was the most unprecedented sales period that I can recall ever. We were doing more than $200,000 a week in the lead up to the Olympics, which is a lot of box-by-box sales."The contract, which was stitched up in a lightning fast deal, will put $3 million in Tech Pac's coffers not taking into account FileMaker's stable 30 per cent annual growth.
"Tech Pacific is a good bid for us," says McManus. "They are a lot larger than Dataflow but they give excellent coverage. They're very strong in the SME area and they are very strong in business licensing. Our product is focused on business work groups and that's a very good fit with the distribution model Tech Pacific has.""Being number one on Macintosh and number one on Windows, Tech Pac has more than 6000 dealers," he says. "One of the processes in deciding which distributor we went to was to canvas key dealers both on Windows, in the business area, and on Macintosh, and see who they would recommend."McManus believes the appointment of Tech Pac will mean an improved level of service for resellers. "The service to the dealers definitely dropped off with Dataflow from September last year so I expect the dealers will welcome this appointment," he says. "They'll see it as more consistent, predictable supply to them and have told us themselves that they like Tech Pac's marketing strategy."McManus added that Tech Pac could provide some huge growth opportunities for FileMaker, particularly in the licensing sector. "This is the fastest growth area in our business," he says, "and I think Tech Pac will open us up with the SME market. That's the work group, that is our focus, that's our sweet spot, and that's the growth opportunity.""Tech Pacific also has expos throughout the year which will give us increased exposure to the SME dealers to show them the FileMaker product. There is a lot of growth being driven at the moment by Web demand. What people want on the Web is content that is dynamically driven out of a database. FileMaker is perfect for this so a lot of growth is coming in for us in the database segment."An additional bonus to the Tech Pac partnership is its possible fit in the Asian markets but McManus says this is not in the immediate future.