The IT project aims to ratchet up the Exporter Development Unit's (EDU) contact with new and potential exporters, particularly in the small to medium enterprise sector, by consolidating and expanding its marketing functions into a central database.
Austrade issued a tender for the database and related services this week and will brief potential suppliers in Sydney on Monday. The tender documents called for a Web-based solution, preferably either a campaign management system or marketing resource management system.
Austrade had identified the database project as an essential part of attaining its goal of doubling the number of Australian companies exporting overseas, said EDU project leader Nicole Fischer. It would improve marketing and communication efforts, she said.
"We need to develop new and irregular exporters," said Fischer. "We're expanding the capabilities we have already, and we're looking to improve the efficiency of how we identify and solicit new business."
"Most importantly we're looking to track and develop all the marketing activities and have the functionality to capture prospects and client details".
The tender specified a number of expected functions for the marketing database, including event management, lead and pipeline management, transactional history, reporting and analysis and workflow management.
The database will co-exist with a Window-based IT environment which will migrate to Windows XP for desktops and Windows Server 2003 and Exchange 2003 in the first half of 2005.
The database will initially be hosted externally by the solution provider, who would provide access to a limited number of users via a secure Internet connection.
The tender called for a successful pilot to take place during February and March 2005, with full implementation by April 1.
Australia's goods and services exports were worth AU$141 billion in 2003. In March, Minister for Trade Mark Vaile reiterated the government's goal to double the number of Australian exporting companies by 2005.