Australia"s Mincom digs deep into Chinese market

Von Julian Bajkowski

Australia"s ballooning A$19 billion (US$14.6 billion) ICT trade deficit has been dealt a pin-prick with veteran Queensland ERP stalwart Mincom Ltd. making a strategic foray into the booming Chinese resources sector.

The company has inked a "cooperative business agreement" with the incumbent Chinese software and solutions provider, Shenyang Neusoft. Describing itself as a total solution provider to "Chinese government and private enterprise", Shenyang Neusoft Co. Ltd. claims to have "3,000 large-enterprise customers in China focusing on key industries such as electricity, telecommunications and utilities".

The joint deal will see Shenyang Neusoft translate and localize Mincom"s software for the Chinese market with the company"s Ellipse enterprise asset management suite understood to be the first product to be rolled out.

Under the agreement, both companies will have equal rights to sell the software across all verticals in China, with translation and development being undertaken in Nanjing.

The deal represents a significant international win for the unlisted public company which overhauled its management in December 2004 when 23-year veteran CEO James McElrea handed over the reins to former JD Edwards international vice president Richard Mathews.

A statement from Mincom said that while the ERP vendor was new to China, it had already secured business in Mongolia and Uzbekistan and also opened an office in St Petersburg in April 2005 to target the booming Russian mining sector.

In the same month, the vendor announced it had fully acquired Chilean mining software company Exedra.

Mincom made a modest half-year profit of A$316,000 in December 2004, stemming recent losses which saw the company sink A$4.6 million in the red for the same period in 2003.

Multinational mining equipment giant Caterpillar holds an 11.45 percent stake in the company.