Kiwis push Stars & Stripes in Oz channel

Kiwi software house Synergetix is doubling its Australian channel presence as it launches three .NET-based digital signage and marketing products.

The vendor has beefed up its distribution portfolio with the addition of Decisive Solutions of Melbourne. Decisive will now sell Synergetix's newly-launched CRM target marketing package, Stripes, as well as its business intelligence (BI) tool, Stars.

Decisive joins Stripe's Master Distributor, Riva. The distributor is based in Sydney and has branches in Melbourne and Perth.

The new Stripes product has just been launched in Australia, following use by the New Zealand Coastguard.

It joins business intelligence (BI) tool, Stars, which helps retailers analyse their sales. Initially, Stars was written in Visual Basic, but it has now just been rewritten in .NET. The browser-based software allows data to be accessed over the internet.

A recent customer of the Stars system was Global Exchange Services (GXS) which handles most of the electronic document work with Coles Myer. GXS will roll out the system over the next quarter.

Synergetix technical director Tony Scott, said a large Brisbane-based petfood distributor had agreed to use the system, but the contract has yet to be signed.

Finally, Riva will also sell a third new product, Wallflower, which is currently used by tourist information centres in New Zealand.

Wallflower Dynamic Digital Signage can handle point of sale promotions and carry up to three independent message streams.

"Most POS systems just sit there and do nothing," Scott said. "We can print out coupons and display messages."

Scott expected tourist and visitor centre organisations to begin using the system as tourist organisations on both sides of the Tasman were closely linked.

Scott said there were perhaps just 3-4 digital signage producers in Australia and New Zealand so he expected Wallflower to make a big impact.

"All our competition use streaming video or powerpoint and a server connection," he said. "They have to have a LAN or a broadband connection. But each of our displays can store its own media, so you don't have to stream the media. You don't need a broadband internet connection, which is a substantial saving," he said.

Synergetix has a strong relationship with Australia, recently completing a wagering analysis system for the NSW TAB. Australian businesses like using Kiwi-made software as it had a good reputation and typically cost three-quarters of Australian rates to develop, Scott said.

Synergetix started off in Auckland 11 years ago, selling browsers and claims to have been New Zealand's biggest Internet software supplier until Microsoft and Netscape cleaned-up the market.

This led the company to develop its own products, primarily in the retail and tourism sectors.

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