CRM consultancy flags Asian expansion

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CRM specialist Aaromba Technologies has expanded into Western Australia with an eye to a campaign to conquer Asia starting 2005.

Antony Dutton, co-founder and marketing director at the consultancy, said the company's new office in Perth was planned partly as a springboard for further expansion into Asia, probably early next year.

'It's part of our [national] expansion. We see it as a very strong market [this year] -- there's quite a lot over there at the moment and we see some good value in the market in the short term. And it also gives us a way to push into Asia,' he said.

Dutton said it had taken the company about 12 months to find a spot in Perth. However, the firm had been actively developing a national clientele for some time and already had WA customers of its CRM support and services.

Aaromba has assigned three staff -- two transferred from Sydney and a new, Perth-based hire -- to run the office initially. The company has 23 staff nationally, offices in Sydney and Melbourne and 'staff on the ground' in Brisbane.

'In the first stage, it is just one step at a time,' Dutton said. 'This is about demand that we expect to happen.'

Dutton said privately-owned Aaromba turned over more than 'a couple' of million and less than $10 million annually. The company was seeing CRM market growth in Australia lagging behind Europe and the US by between five and 10 percent.

'And there's plenty of room for those who know what they're doing,' Dutton said.

Dutton and co-founder Shane Parsons decided to start Aaromba about two years ago, based on their experiences working in London, UK. Dutton himself worked for several years for a company there called Opportune IT, which supplied FrontRange's GoldMine CRM software.

FrontRange is Aaromba's main vendor partner.

'We believed there was a time lag between what was happening in Europe and the US markets and what was happening in Australia, and there still is, in terms of market penetration,' Dutton said.

Aaromba creates FrontRange-based services and support packages for customers across a range of verticals, including Macquarie Bank, betting shops, and music stores. Companies with large amounts of recurring revenue based on returning, regular clients might benefit greatly from CRM, Dutton suggested.

'Our business is  mainly around solutions to do with CRM. Our other focus is with help desks. That's pretty much the same sort of solutions, around [FrontRange] Heat,' he said.

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