Certus Solutions, a key ANZ IBM systems integrator, has announced the launch of a new mobility-as-a-service offering backed by IBM’s formidable technical clout.
Mobile solutions director Matt Smith told CommsDay that Certus was IBM’s foremost business partner in-region as measured by software resale. Headquartered in Auckland with multiple offices in Australia, the firm has a staff of some 175 across ANZ, “mostly focused on big data, collaboration, security and asset management” as well as managed services. Most of its development resource is located around Australia and New Zealand; it hosts locally in both countries, while also leveraging IBM’s Softlayer offering.
“We’re taking IBM’s enterprise-level mobility, which is a robust platform; anything you need to do in mobile, you can do with IBM,” said Smith, himself a 10- year veteran of the mobile market in the US. “But with IBM software, sometimes it’s a challenge to adopt it; there’s a high cost of entry, high operational costs over time. What we’ve done is taken the capabilities that we have in managed services and development, and built out a platform that allows people to adopt IBM software in a software-as-a-service model. We’ve stood up the software; we have the licensing with IBM that allows us to sell it on a per-user basis, so the customer... can get it through us and pay for it monthly. And in order for IBM to agree to do this, we’ve built proprietary software on top of it that connects all the IBM software and is, essentially, a rapid application development builder.”
“What we’re providing that’s different from everyone else is enterprise-level mobility but at [an improved] cost and speed-to-market,” he added. “What you see a lot [from other players] is ‘mobility in minutes’... generally those players are a front-end technology.. but if you want to do anything, you have to purchase connectors or hire developers to get all the guts of it working. Because we’re on the IBM technology and we have all those connectors, we can do the same things at the front end with our proprietary software, but we also have the capability in the middle to connect to the back end.” The upshot is fully realised mobile apps that can be delivered in weeks. Certus already has a handful of pilot customers for the mobility offering across ANZ, set to go live shortly, and will initially be targeting utilities and any large company with extensive field workforces. If things go well in ANZ, the firm isn’t ruling out expansion into APAC or further afield later on, with the IBM relationship giving it global reach. “There are plans to expand down the road... the market is ready for it here, but it’s not ready in some other major markets. But when they’re ready, we’ll be able to move,” said Smith.
Article published Jan 28th by Petroc Wilton - CommsDay