French firm sees Canadian ERP opportunity with SMBs

An American firm is turning to a Canadian channel partner to offer an alternative enterprise resource planning solution for small and medium businesses.

Montreal-based software reseller Tangerine has entered into an

agreement with France developer Adonix and will be marketing the 25-year-old company’s ERP solution, X3, on the Canadian market. The software is directed at the small and medium business space, says Adonix North America CEO Alexandre Attal.

He says the company was surprised by a number of Canadian sales of X3 in 2001, which essentially came to Adonix on their own. Adonix was not yet seriously considering market opportunities in Canada, Attal says.

But opportunity is exactly what made Tangerine seek out Adonix, says president Greg Brown. In a market generally void of real opportunity, the SMB space looked promising, he says.

The small and medium business market makes up 99.8 per cent of all businesses in Canada, 29 per cent of the IT market and over $12 billion in IT spending, according to IDC Canada research.

ERP solutions have begun attracting attention of these businesses for many reasons, Brown says. Some, like large enterprises, want the software to aid increasing productivity without having to increase headcount. But SMBs are more importantly looking for a system able to sustain future growth, so that future growth can be supported through their IT structure. In this case an ERP product that runs their business processes, he says.

“”That’s very important, especially for the small guys getting out there,”” Brown says. “”Everyone is very ambitious, always, but there are businesses out there that have a business model that must see them grow by a certain percentage year by year. They’re looking for a system they don’t have to change, a long term (investment) that will aid their growth.””

While acknowledging that they are entering into a space under increasing scrutiny from some of the biggest software kids on the block, Attal says he’s confident his company’s 25 years of dealing directly with the SMB market will make the X3 solution successful.

“”It makes a big difference when you’re talking to a mid-sized company when you know their buying behaviours, where they’re looking for value,”” he says. “”This package was developed for years, building into it the value propositions that everybody says the mid-market needs.””

The X3 solution is Web-enabled, which is what made Tangerine seek them out as a partner.

So far Tangerine is the only Canadian reseller for the Adonix solution, but Attal says he’s loath to sign exclusive agreements and it’s likely that the company will look to grow its channel should demand prove strong enough.

Currently the focus is on the Quebec and Ontario markets, Brown says, with the partners keeping a close watch on the Maritime and Western provinces. But although the solution can be adapted to many different industries, Brown says Tangerine plans a very focused market approach.

“”So we’re focusing in on specific industries rather than trying to be a be-all-end all to everybody. So for plastics and rubber, pharma including biotech,”” he said. “”We’re looking at running campaigns aimed at those industries.””


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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