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Tuesday, Nov 23, 2004

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Ramco VirtualWorks set to go global

Raja Simhan T.E.
Krishnan Thiagarajan

`In 2004-05, revenue from VirtualWorks will be comfortably over 50 per cent, and in 2005-06, over 80 per cent'.

Chennai , Nov. 22

RAMCO Systems is gearing up to take Ramco VirtualWorks, its flagship solutions platform, to international markets in a big way.

The Chennai-based software firm is putting in place a global strategy to focus on Ramco VirtualWorks, which includes hiring key people in various locations, including the US and the UK, to market this solution, Mr P.R. Venketrama Raja, Vice-Chairman, Managing Director and CEO, told Business Line. He declined to provide further details on the strategy at the moment.

``We have transformed Ramco into a software solution firm from an enterprise resource planning (ERP)-based firm,'' he said. Currently, around 40 projects, of which 10-12 have gone live at the client's site, are being implemented on VirtualWorks, he added.

Ramco has spent nearly Rs 350 crore (or $80 million) in building VirtualWorks and about 800 employees were involved in research and development work for nearly six years. This platform helps to fully automate any manufacturing system from conception to delivery of a product, and all this through the Web.

According to Mr Raja, Ramco is also in talks with some of the global consulting firms to enter into partnerships for process consulting work relating to solutions delivered on VirtualWorks across different verticals. He, however, declined to give names.

For the quarter ended September 30, Ramco Systems reported a net profit of Rs 2.32 crore on total income of Rs 36.40 crore compared to a net loss of Rs 12.29 crore on revenues of Rs 19.43 crore for the corresponding quarter last year.

Mr Raja said that continued customer acceptance of VirtualWorks-based solutions has helped the company accelerate the positive momentum created over the last few quarters. ``Our efforts are focussed at streamlining our market initiatives and internal business processes to handle the next phase of growth in solution engagements,'' he said

For Ramco, revenues from VirtualWorks accounted for about 30 per cent of total revenue of around Rs 85 crore in 2003-04. In 2004-05, revenue from VirtualWorks will be comfortably over 50 per cent, and in 2005-06, over 80 per cent of company's revenue will be from VirtualWorks, he said. ``We expect a major turnaround in the company's performance from next fiscal year,'' he said.

Ramco is also in the process of building up a `powerful' client reference base, which would enable the company to market VirtualWorks globally in a better way, he said. ``We need a credibility mass to tap global customers. The last couple of quarters have been exciting and tense. It is a big shift for us,'' he said.

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