Reith hopes software success is on the cards

Reith hopes software success is on the cards

By Stuart Finlayson

The son of a former government minister, who was famously embroiled in a scandal when he let another of his offspring illegally use his ministerial phone card, with which $50,000 worth of phone calls were subsequently racked up, has returned to Australia and is looking to make waves in the business software market.

Robert Reith, son of former Liberal Government minister Peter Reith, is heading up the recently-opened Australian division of UK-based software company HDIS, creators of web-based knowledge management software Claromentis.

Based in Melbourne, with full support from the London HQ, Reith has been charged with establishing a market for the software in Australia and setting up a channel.

"We've already started working with two distributors in Australia – one in Sydney and one in W.A. – who have been selling it on to their clients, so we have made a positive start."

Claromentis is a knowledge and document management application that allows information to be shared across an organisation, with a built-in permission management system that allows for complex rights and permissions rules to be easily implemented, as well as version control, which identifies what changes –if any – have been made to a file.

"I think it offers a much cheaper alternative and a more complete solution – with knowledge management and content management – than a lot of our competitors," believes Reith.

Small to medium sized companies will be the initial targets for HDIS in Australia, despite instances in the UK where it has been implemented in larger companies and in the public sector.

As to what impact he expects the family connection to have on his new venture, Reith says: "It's been neutral really so far in that it hasn't been much of a help or a hindrance. But in my past experience, it can have the effect of closing doors as well as opening them."

That's not to say that he won't use his former ministerial father's name in the future, should doing so provide a window of opportunity.

"I am working in an industry that he wasn't deeply involved with, but I am hoping that it may be a help somewhere down the track once we get the company off the ground in Australia."

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