TechnologyOne to make its software mobile

After establishing a new research and development centre and headquarters in May, enterprise IT provider TechnologyOne has established a small team to port its enterprise offerings into mobile applications for tablet and smartphone devices, with the company's chief executive officer (CEO) describing the mobile space as a key growth area.

Enterprise IT provider TechnologyOne has established a small team to port its enterprise offerings into mobile applications for tablet and smartphone devices, with the company's executive chairman Adrian Di Marco describing the mobile space as a key growth area.

TechnologyOne HQ

TechnologyOne's new Brisbane-headquarters, which also houses its research and development section. (Credit: TechnologyOne)

"Mobility is going to be a huge push for us," Di Marco told ZDNet Australia today.

"We've got a whole mobility group developing mobile applications for things like iPhones and iPads and wireless devices and so on," he added.

The company's new research and development facility now houses a small mobility development team of 10 staff which will port desktop applications for mobile platforms, according to Di Marco.

Di Marco said that mobile technology is a part of a new push for TechnologyOne.

"[It's all about] using things like iPhones to do workflow approvals, alerts and business intelligence and [it's the] same with the iPad. In certain areas, for example, like local government it's using things like iPhones to photograph a problem on the street and send it straight to the council. There's a myriad of things you can do with mobility licenses these days — it's a whole new world."

He added that all enterprise applications would benefit from a mobile component delivered to users.

TechnologyOne HQ

Inside TechnologyOne's research and development centre. (Credit: TechnologyOne)

"I think [with] all applications, there will be a significant mobility component, and that's why we've created a whole mobility group with a focus on building that mobility component across a variety of different applications and giving it very much a unified look and feel and consistent approach."

TechnologyOne opened its new Fortitude Valley based research and development (R&D) centre in May, which also doubles as its corporate headquarters. The company wants to attract younger Gen Y aged staff with the funky new facility.

"The Valley is a very new, vibrant location just outside the city centre and it's got all the nightclubs and lots of restaurants and stuff, so it's a great location to put an R&D centre. It really is well located for the younger generation. It's all about appealing to them to get them to come and work for us and help us continue to have young innovative people working for us," Di Marco said.

UK downturn: never retreat, never surrender

While business is strong at home, with the company offering good dividends to shareholders, Di Marco conceded today that TechnologyOne had been feeling the effects of the weaker global economy in the United Kingdom.

TechnologyOne has two offices in England and Di Marco told ZDNet Australia that the IT vendor had scaled back its expansion plans within the region.

"The UK is a tough market because of the [global financial crisis] and the state of their economy, so it's one of those things unfortunately that once you start you just need to continue to persevere."

He added that TechnologyOne wasn't the only company still feeling the effects of the downturn on business.

"All the vendors have had a tough go there, it's been tough for everyone. You have to have a medium term view and do what's best in the medium term."

However, Di Marco said that although the UK business was in a holding pattern due to the weaker economy, TechnologyOne has no plans to retreat from the market.

"It's a slow market now but within a couple of years it will come out of that and go back to normal, it's just a matter of biding our time really," he said."

TechnologyOne reported strong results for the fiscal year ending 30 September, posting a net profit before tax result of $23.3 million up from $20 million the year before — the company's seventh straight year of growth.

Strong financial year profits came from and increase in revenues ($136 million, up from $122 million) and a surge in license fees, up 10 per cent.

TechnologyOne shareholders are set to receive an early Christmas present this year, with the company set to pay an additional dividend to investors of 5.7 cents per share, up 52 per cent from last years dividend.