Microsoft reseller Mentec has set its sights on a UK acquisition spree, as it looks to bolster its British presence with specific industry knowledge.
The Irish reseller is looking to buy UK resellers with market expertise that complements its general knowledge of building Microsoft Great Plains systems.
In Ireland, Mentec has business divisions that deliver both Oracle e-business software and Great Plains systems. Acquiring resellers for the mainland UK with Microsoft skills is the focus for Mentec, said Kevin Haverty, the firm's managing director.
"That's the area where we see the greatest opportunities. Being attached to the Microsoft name obviously gives you some extra kudos, but we've been impressed how willing its been to take advice on the business from its partners," he said.
Like many resellers, Mentec is currently casting longing looks at the public sector and education markets, which it sees as profitable areas to expand into.
"We've got a track record of delivering to the public sector in Ireland and would like to expand on that in the UK," said Haverty.
Meanwhile, competition for business in the lower end of the market has been intensifying, as enterprise ERP heavyweights such as Oracle and SAP bring out versions of their software designed for smaller firms.
Microsoft's acquisitions of Great Plains and Navision has helped the firm force its way into this sector.
Karen Engel, group product manager of Microsoft Business Solutions, said: "We're confident we can help customers realise added business benefits."
With the intense competition in the mid-market, analysts say that channel strategy could be key in deciding the winners.
"The only way to make sales in the lower end is by having a sophisticated indirect channel, where resellers have the relationships with buyers," said Evan Kirchheimer, lead technology analyst for Datamonitor.
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