Adonix enlists Canadian ally

As the Canadian small- to medium-sized market heats up, vendors are looking for ways to break into the Great White North’s SMB space.

Adonix, a Sewickley, Penn.-based ERP vendor has decided to use a partnership with St. Laurent, Que.’s Tangerine Software Inc. to do just that. As part of the agreement, Tangerine will be responsible for sales and marketing, implementation, professional services and customer support for Adonix’s X3 product in Canada.

Alex Attal, CEO of Adonix, said the company chose Tangerine because the reseller had been involved in ERP product for years, had high skill levels and had first-hand knowledge of the Canadian market.

“Tangerine knows the market better than we do,” Attal stated. “They are Canadian and we are not.”

Deploying Adonix’s own sales force into Canada would means years of work, or an incredible amount of money, to reach the skill level and understanding of the customers that Tangerine has, Attal said.

“If you are going to mid-sized customers, you need to either be very strong geographically or you need to have great industry skills, and we cannot build that for every region or industry, so we rely on people who do that for a living,” Attal said.

Prior to the January agreement, Adonix had sold its Web-native ERP product (X3) in Canada, but Attal said many of those sales stemmed from an acquisition spree the company went on a few years ago. Many clients of those acquired companies later upgraded to X3.

Ganong Bros. Ltd. in St. Stephen, N.B., is in the process of implementing X3, which it purchased directly from Adonix. Marc Lefebvre, the vice-president and CIO for Ganong, said the candy-maker wanted to find a solution that was specifically tailored to the SMB market.

Ganong, with about 225 employees, immediately excluded tier one ERP vendors, Lefebvre said, “in spite of their claim that they’ve downsized their systems and right-sized then for smaller companies.”

Lefebvre called X3 “focused functionality,” in that he did not have to buy a broad range of functionality to get what he wanted. “There wasn’t a whole lot of stuff left on the table unused at the end of the day.”

He is looking forward to working with Tangerine in the future, and said that its experience in the ERP space will be invaluable to X3 customers.

Tangerine has been involved with ERP systems since its 1992 inception. It has been affiliated with Geac Computer Corp. in Markham, Ont., since 1999. Tangerine provides sales, implementation, support and professional services for Geac’s System 21, according to Greg Brown, president of Tangerine Software.

He said the Geac product was not suited to many of the SMBs Tangerine was looking to pursue, so the company went looking for a product more in tune with that market. Tangerine reached an agreement with Adonix last December, but it is still selling System 21 as well.

In the past two years, Tangerine has put aside about 80 per cent of its opportunities because they could not pursue them with System 21. Brown said X3 will allow it to explore those missed opportunities.

“The market and economy have been depressed lately, for lack of a better word, and more opportunities were coming to the small- and medium-end market. So we were looking for an enterprise solution to fit that market,” Brown said.

X3 is strong in the pharmaceutical, rubber and plastics, and second tier automotive verticals.