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Queensland start-up Opmantek snares Mexican telco giant

Monday, 27 February 2012 | By Oliver Milman

Gold Coast-based start-up Opmantek has secured a major contract with Mexico’s largest telecommunications firm, despite having virtually no sales or revenue history.


Opmantek struck the ongoing, half a million dollar deal with Telmex, a giant Mexican telco, for the implementation and upkeep of its software, called Network Management Information System.


The contract, which Opmantek says could grow into a multimillion dollar agreement, will see the Queensland start-up build several bespoke modules for Telmex, as well as help maintain the system.


Opmantek’s NMIS technology is a network management solution, which identifies faults in IT systems and provides troubleshooting tips.


Opmantek founder Danny Maher says the software stands out from its rivals due to its flexibility – something that Telmex noticed.


“Traditionally, network management software has categorised a power outage as critical, for example, and a slow network as a minor problem,” he tells StartupSmart.


“But that’s not necessarily how businesses run. A small outage that affects a web server may be more important to you than losing your entire admin team. NMIS allows you to configure your business’ policies and priorities in a matter of days.”


“Telmex had been working with a large company to solve their network management problems and it wasn’t working out. Someone downloaded our core software, which is free, realised that it worked and took it to their boss. They then got in contact with us.”


Maher started Opmantek in October 2010 after buying the rights for NMIS off a New Zealand company.


He then persuaded Keith Sinclair, who had originally created the software in 1999, to join him as co-founder of the business, in order to commercialise the product.


“It’s something that should’ve been commercialised a long time ago,” says Maher. “The New Zealand people were so nice and did a lot for the space, but they didn’t make money from it. To work on commercialising this with Keith is great.”


Opmantek, which has a 10-strong team, already has 10,000 customers around the world, with most downloading the core software for free.


The business plan is to monetise this by upselling add-on solutions, such as in-depth reporting, to interested customers.


“We have not rung or emailed any of them yet – they’ve all found us,” says Maher.


“The potential of the business is enormous. Some companies pay $10 million a year to customise their network management systems. If we get just 2-3% of out 10,000 customers to pay an average of $20,000, that’s $2 million a year, for starters.”