Southrock joins ASP parade

Online training software developer, Southrock, has transformed its business to become an Application Services Provider (ASP).

While it still sells its training software via its licencing model, customers can now download, use and pay for the software from the Internet on a course by course basis.

Accompanying its move to the ASP model, the company is also now selling to small and medium-sized businesses. Traditionally, its customers are large corporations including Telstra, Mercantile Mutual, Australia Post and Transfield.

Peter Dulmanis, vice president for partnerships and marketing, emphasised that Southrock's focus is understanding and delivering on the issues learners face in online training rather than the method of delivery of its software.

"The source of our competitive advantage is the scope in which we operate. We are constantly evaluating and understanding learners and learning issues and delivering on those, the delivery model is secondary to that," Dulmanis said.

Established in 1993, Southrock aims to have one million active learners using its products this year. It's chairman, Roger Allen, set up a management team at the end of 1999, led by Chris Leptos, to take the company to the next stage of development, namely it's ASP business. Co-founder and former CEO, Virginia Eke, remains on the board of directors.

The company plans to list on the ASX in the fourth quarter of this year, according to Leptos. It is currently focussing on raising equity from US and Europe investors. Equity held by shareholders, including Allen and Buckeridge and Interim Services, are expected to be diluted on a pro rata basis.

Southrock employs 40 staff and is predicting revenue of almost $10 million in 2001, up from $4 million in 2000. It's core product, the SouthrockGEM delivers and manages training, tracks and evaluates the knowledge, skill level and compliance of learners via standard web technology.

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