Merging three of the leaders in the CBA software space in 1997, Endeavour Solutions has gone on to become one of the largest resellers of the popular Greentree accounting software in the country. Managing Director Chris Miller speaks to The Channel about looking forward and the prospect of expanding into new spaces.
How did it all begin?
Endeavour Solutions was formed as a joint venture in 1997 from the three largest CBA software resellers in Auckland. With the year 2000 looming and CBA poised to start developing the replacement Greentree product, the three businesses (Excellent System Developments, Focus Business Solutions and Task Management) decided to merge the CBA customer base to better service their needs. The origin of those businesses goes back to the early ’80s, so the company has a wealth of experience.
What changes has the business undergone?
Initially, Endeavour aimed to get past the year 2000 and launch the new Greentree product in the market, both with existing clients and new clients. Once this was established, the challenge was to build sound business practices to support our future aspirations. We then focused on growth; a merger with Christchurch-based Globaltech and Melbourne-based Gretal Consulting has seen the company more than double in size over the last two years.
What is your core business?
We have had many labels over the years, but we prefer to define our core business as business software specialists. This involves the supply of ERP and CRM systems for mid-sized companies, and we are expanding into mobility solutions this year. We’re interested in anything a business needs to keep running efficiently and measure profitability and productivity.
What are your clients and what business challenges do they face?
We have clients in a number of industries, including goods distribution, manufacture, construction, jobbing and project industries, horticulture, agriculture, health care and government. We are finding that very few clients are feeling immediate pressure from the global meltdown, but most are looking ahead cautiously. Efficiency is the most common business challenge we hear about: “How do I get the best out of my people to achieve our goals?” Many of our clients are looking at retaining the same level of revenue in the coming years, but we have also seen a number of takeovers, restructures and mergers to meet the challenges ahead. There are still many businesses that are staying positive and looking to maximise their opportunities, regardless of current market conditions.
Is your physical location a challenge to doing business?
We are lucky to be in a business that can often be conducted over the internet, so our physical location is not a big issue. We are providing services around data, so a large part of our work can be done from anywhere: the client’s site, our workplace or from home. That said, we need to maintain constant contact with our clients, and having many branch offices means we’re never too far away.
What technology is hot right now?
Business Intelligence is hot; people need tools to understand information, not just to see endless reports. Business Process Management and Alerts are also hot, as these technologies allow businesses to implement processes and manage them well. Mobile applications are heating up, and we have only scratched the surface of what can be achieved.
Non-integrated software is definitely not hot. Entering data in two or more different places is just not an efficient use of time.
What’s the best thing about your location?
All of our branches are close to the city, but not in the city, which means fewer traffic and parking problems, but still plenty of cafés!
Without giving away valuable IP – what do you think is the secret to your success?
It’s a simple formula really; having a great team of people, good business practices, enjoying what you do and making sure you add value when you provide products and services. This has become the culture at Endeavour, and we all believe in these values.