Indian firm Ramco Systems has set up a presence in Melbourne to market its cloud-based enterprise resource planning and maintenance software.
Newly fronted by Virender Aggarwal, a former executive of offshore outsourcer HCL Technologies, Ramco is making a global play for a share of the cloud ERP space.
Ramco had no existing customer presence in Australia but Aggarwal said pressure from one of its large systems integrator partners had forced its hand to open shop in Australia.
"The company came about because one of the large systems integrators was wanting to bid our offering into a couple of opportunities in Queensland and Victoria, [but] we did not qualify for the bid because we were not registered in Australia," he said.
"They [the integrator] told us, 'If you want us to keep bidding your software then we want you to register'. So that kind of prompted us to hurry it up and bring the plans forward."
Aggarwal did not name the integrator but Ramco's website lists only one integrator on its books with presence in Australia - Ingram Micro.
The company has appointed its first Australian employee in Melbourne and plans to bring on up to four more staff, mostly in business development roles.
It does not currently have a local data centre or cache presence, serving customers out of Amazon data centres in the US and Singapore, and Rackspace in the US.
Aggarwal said if customer or government regulations required a local hosting presence, "then we will do it with one of the telcos or a large systems integrator".
"Currently we are working with a telco in India, and their sales team is selling our ERP to their corporate customers," he said.
"If we can strike an arrangement like that, it would be the best thing for us because any presence with any global data centre operator will only give us data centre space at a very attractive price.
"It doesn't give us access to a market. Access to market will come from one of the big telcos like Telstra, Optus and so on."
Although the company targeted asset-intensive industries and state governments, Aggarwal did not see traditional ERP giants SAP and Oracle as competition, as much as pureplay SaaS vendors such as Netsuite and Plex.com.
Aggarwal saw the Australian market as "fair game" despite its relative maturity on the ERP front.
"I think theres a fair niche market for us to operate in," he said.
"I don't think getting the first few customers will be trouble, and that should help us [expand]."
In addition to cloud-based ERP, Ramco offers a hosted analytics product, a government-flavoured ERP system, and an aviation maintenance management product.