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01 Jan 2006 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 44

Software of Excellence and Oasis merge

Oasis Software has merged with Software of Excellence to jointly develop and promote OASiS and EXACT dental practice management software throughout Australasia.

The structure of the deal sees Software of Excellence Limited (SOE:NZX), the New Zealand-based developers of EXACT, acquire the privately held Melbourne-based Oasis Software Pty Ltd. The combined operation has a client base of more than 1,400 dental practices in Australia, making it the clear market leader in terms of market share.

"This is fantastic news for Oasis staff, distributors and for the thousands of dentists around Australia using our software," said Noel Morley, Managing Director of Oasis Software. "In the last few years, we have been looking to partner with a larger sized company that can give us exposure to international markets and increase investment in support services and R&D.

"Australia is a small market and even though we were the dominant player, it was important for us to look beyond our shores to continue our growth. We have had strong interest from overseas for a number of our products including our Specialist Billing and Treatment Modules and our Case Presentation Manager. The merger thus gives us an immediate platform to take these products worldwide."

The announcement came a week after the publicly-traded SOE announced to the New Zealand Stock Exchange that it would be progressively withdrawing from its Enterprise business, which involves selling software to dental schools, teaching hospitals and public health providers.

"The conclusion of the deal with Oasis, which greatly strengthens our position in the Australian market, was timed perfectly to coincide with the announcement of our intentions to sell off the Enterprise arm of the business to concentrate on private practices," said Brian Weatherly, Software of Excellence's CEO.

"We had been looking at Australia for some time and teaming with Oasis was obviously an attractive option. They are clearly the market leader with innovative products and a good team. It was also a good cultural fit. In essence, there were many reasons why it made a lot of sense. The fact that we concluded the deal when we did was also a bonus."

Mr Weatherly said that it would be business as usual for dental practices using both EXACT and Oasis and that there was no intention to try and convert users of either product to the other.

"The intention is to continue to develop both products long term," he said. "We essentially see the two products as very different and they are targeting different segments of the market. EXACT is very clinically-based and we traditionally didn't offer the business administration tools and the modular approach that has been available with Oasis and others products. The two product strategy thus allows us to cover the whole market without cannibalising it."

Mr Weatherly said the development of Oasis will continue from the current location of Oasis Software in Melbourne which will become the Australian headquarters for the new operation.

"All that will change is that we are putting more resources into all facets of Oasis," he said. "Together we will be able to bring more good ideas to market faster. We want to accelerate development and we want to increase the quality of the support. All this will be based from the Melbourne office. In the near future, there will be more people in support, more people in development and more people in sales and marketing."

Existing EXACT and Oasis resellers (see table) will now sell, install and train on both products while all telephone support for the east coast of Australia for Oasis will come out of Melbourne. Support in WA and SA will continue to be managed by the local resellers. Support for EXACT will continue to be managed through the existing New Zealand call centre.

"We went to a lot of effort before the purchase to investigate the synergies we have with Oasis and we want to build on these and its overall success in the market," Mr Weatherly continued. "There are obvious areas where investing more resources will bear fruit that includes strengthening support and speeding up ongoing development."

"The two companies have very similar philosophies and backgrounds," Mr Morley said. "We think very much along the same lines. We feel the deal is a good fit, particularly as both software products complement each other in the market place.

"The merger also brings with it improved economies of scale. It means we can offer a higher level of hotline support for eastern states through our new National Support Centre in Melbourne. This new centre will also house an expanded software development team. Software of Excellence are devoting considerable financial resources to the new team and we anticipate accelerated development of new software modules in the ensuing years. All in all it's a great outcome for all concerned."

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