Technology One changes prompt a pause at Wellington Council

Council forced to reevaluate Strategic Asset Management portion of Project Odyssey software replacement after Technology One parts company with Assetic.

Changes at Australian enterprise software vendor Technology One have prompted Wellington Council to pause and look again at its strategic asset management software options

A summary of an internal report released under the Local Government Official Information Act also reveals the budget of the council's major software replacement effort, dubbed Project Odyssey, has increased slightly, from NZ$15.3 million to NZ$16.2 million.

The council said the cost had risen to due to variations in the contract.

Wellington's strategic asset management (SAM) functionality was to have been provided by Technology One as prime vendor from its Melbourne-based partner Assetic.

However, Technology One and Assetic have now parted company.

"We had the option to continue with the contracted arrangement, but decided to remove the Assetic SAM functionality from the proposed solution and reconsider our position on how else to meet our SAM requirements," the council told ZDNet.

Asset Management, as opposed to Strategic Asset Management, will continue to be provided by Technology One.

Technology One's executive chairman, Adrian di Marco, said the Assetic relationship ended after it was acquired by venture capitalists and Technology One was unable to negotiate a new distribution agreement.

Then, last October, Technology One bought SAM software developer Jeff Roorda and Associates (JRA) for A$10 million.

"We continue to support Assetic to our existing customers," di Marco said. "We will continue to work with Assetic and support it but when taking on prime contractor responsibility we need to have a proper distribution agreement in place to do that."

JRA was acquired to ensure the problem didn't happen again.

Di Marco said because JRA is owned by Technology One, it can guarantee the product to a higher level and take on prime contractor responsibility.

Technology One can also control the software's destiny, he said. JRA would be brought onto Technology One's platform and cloud and deeply integrated with the same look and feel as the rest of the suite as a SaaS offering.

"It's a very different approach to the Assetic approach. We tried to make the products work together and they worked very well, but Assetic is now going down a different approach with a different technology stack."

Di Marco said it was always Technology One's intention to acquire Assetic, but that didn't happen.

"With JRA we can rebuild it on our platform," he said. "We can integrate it to a different level. We can rationalise it.

"In the end we can make it run in our cloud and it will be a massively scalable piece of software with huge economies of scale and reliability rather than running in two clouds - ours and Assetic's."

One benefit of that would be in developing mobile capability. Di Marco said Technology One is about to release support for mobile devices across its suite.

"It will run on an iPhone, an Android, an iPad - everything."

Customers don't want some applications available on mobile and some not, he said. In the end, though, customers still have the option of taking a best-of-breed approach or simplifying their systems through adopting an integrated suite such as Technology One's

As for Wellington Council, di Marco said, it was wise taking time to think about its options.