Consulting giant and SMEs in collaboration pact

24 Apr 2007

Locally-based global ICT firms are increasingly working closely with indigenous SMEs (small to medium-sized enterprises) to gain access to important public and private sector markets, the Irish Software Association claimed yesterday.

At an event attended by over 40 key software figures yesterday, two successful indigenous software firms Daon and Curam Software presented their experience of partnering with Accenture in order to secure large international public sector contracts.

Daon has played an instrumental role in developing US homeland security using biometric technologies, while Curam has developed software for social enterprises for governments in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the US.

Both companies said they successfully partnered with Accenture on a number of international contracts.

However, Curam’s John Hearne said indigenous firms need to maintain aggressiveness to keep the deals coming in.

“Indigenous firms must understand that despite partnering with a global player you still have to get out there and win the business. There’s still a lot of work to be done before the partnership can be considered a success.”

Research and knowledge are still the core weapons in growing firm’s armoury, said Hearne. “Thoroughly understanding the contracting model before embarking on relationship with international partners is key. If you don’t get this right then it will cause problems down the line.”

Daon’s chief operating officer Tony Murphy said that it is important that growing firms can demonstrate that they already have a track record and a client list before assuming they can partner with a larger international player.

“Success breeds success when it comes to attracting larger international organisations to partner with,” explained Murphy. “You must demonstrate that you are capable of adding value to the partnership through previous successes.

“The best approach is to focus on the value you bring to any sale; this will do the talking for you in dealing with potential customers,” added Murphy.

Accenture Ireland chief executive Mark Ryan said firms must be able to demonstrate zeal and a hard work ethic to convince firms like Accenture they can work together.

“We have found that the partnership approach has worked extremely well where companies are passionate about their product and service,” Ryan said.

“When this quality is there, partnering is a rewarding experience. However, finding the right partner and developing an effective relationship can be a difficult process requiring patience and compromise.”

By John Kennedy