SYDNEY, Australia, 26 February 2004
Microsoft Australia today launched an alliance with the Southern Cross University (SCU) to provide a national distance-education business management course for small to medium (SME) sized software companies. Commencing in March 2004, the Software Business Management course is designed to help Australian SMEs articulate their business value, manage operating costs and learn proven management practices.
Specifically tailored for the operators of software companies that sell their products in the Asia Pacific region, the course provides practical advice on the latest business practices and management techniques, such as an introduction to the value chain and value system concepts. In addition to Australia, the course has already started in Singapore, China, India and New Zealand through new Microsoft associations with local business schools such as the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore in India and the Management Development Institute of Singapore.
The two day national course was introduced to the Victorian .NET cluster members by managing director, Steve Vamos, at a one-day seminar based on the contents of the Software Business Management course. The Bracks Government sponsored, Victorian .NET cluster promotes collaboration between Victorian companies working on .NET projects. It also works with Microsoft to identify and network with businesses that may benefit from the Software Business Management course.
“In the software industry the journey from start up to an established and profitable business is a challenge. This course will provide the owners of these developing software companies with knowledge and insights on how to tackle those market challenges and overcome them.
“Through some work in New Zealand with Microsoft, SME software business owners highlighted a need to develop their strategic planning and business management skills,” said Mr Vamos. “We were already providing assistance in helping SME software business owners from a technical perspective and saw this as an opportunity to help them from a business perspective. We tested the concept through our quarterly SME software business owner briefings and the feedback was positive and welcome. Many of the local companies we work with have the potential to be major contributors to Australia's future growth and technology leadership. Helping these companies succeed is one of Microsoft's fundamental contributions to keeping Australia a vibrant centre of technology entrepreneurship and innovation.”
Dr. Stephen Kelly, Senior Lecturer of Management and Marketing at Southern Cross University, who will be running some of the courses, said, “This course is not a technical course on how to develop products using Microsoft technologies. In fact, technical discussions are discouraged. Rather, the initial course is designed as a two day on-site, face-to-face session based around business best practices and supported by relevant case studies from the ICT industry.”
Course topics include the environment and its analysis, the value chain, value creation, loyalty and business planning, developing and implementing strategy, product development strategies, following channels to market and leadership and creating a culture of innovation. Participants can choose to extend the course to a ten day workshop, or use distance learning courses. All participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion from the Southern Cross University.
“We have had an overwhelmingly good result from the roll out programmes in New Zealand, Singapore and India, with an average overall value score of 4.2. This is based on a scale of one to five, one being very low perceived value and five very high. General feedback has also been very encouraging,” said Dr. Kelly.
Trial participant, Poh Pei Chi, a system analyst with Aedge Technologies in Singapore, said, “Rather than just focusing on solving operational issues and fire-fighting on a daily basis, I now consciously take time out on a weekly basis to think on the strategic level, and find ideas for discussion within the company." Aedge Technologies is a 50 person company that helps small and medium enterprise companies in the lifestyle and retail apparel industry implement ebusiness solutions.
The price for the course in Australia is yet to be finalised. For all contact information and course information on the Software Business Management Course, please visit www.ict-edr.com.
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Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software ? any time, any place and on any device.
About Southern CrossUniversity
Southern Cross University is an innovative tertiary institution with more than 12,000 students from 50 countries. It is located in Northern NSW with three campuses in Lismore, Tweed Heads and Coffs Harbour. The university prides itself on its academic programs, innovative courses and internationally recognised research. http://www.scu.edu.au
Victoria.NET is an ICT (information and communication technology) industry initiative for the Victorian.NET and XML web services community. The ICT industry group aims to establish Victoria's reputation as a global hub for .NET development, as well as promote awareness of the capabilities of the .NET framework. http://www.victoriadotnet.com.au/
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