Friday, 18 March 2005 04:00

SEA sells businesses and gives away assets


Software certification organisation, Software Engineering Australia (SEA) has sold its training and consulting business and is giving away its remaining cash assets of $250,000, declaring that it cannot continue as a viable commercial entity.

SEA will transfer the $250,000 cash realised from the sale of its assets minus its liabilities to IT industry lobby group, the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), after examining a number of proposals.

SEA's training and consulting services have been sold to Object Consulting Pty Limited, a Sydney-based consultant, trainer and developer of enterprise software solutions.

SEA was established by the Federal Government in 1999 in a four-year $20 million program to establish a national network of software engineering quality centres.Since September 2003, it has been required to operate as a privately funded, not-for-profit business.

However, since the Government funding taps were turned off in 2003, SEA failed to gain traction in its target market of SMEs. SEA chairman John Gwyther blamed a lack of understanding in the SME sector of the importance of gaining software process certification such as CMM (capability maturity model). "Perhaps we were a couple of years early but smaller organisations in the future will have a hard time surviving when they go up against enterprises that are (CMM) certified," he said.

Gwyther said, "We are naturally disappointed that SEA is not able to continue as a commercial entity. However, the action taken by the Board to sell SEA's training and consulting business and transfer its funds to the AIIA, ensures that the software industry will benefit from SEA's work."

In a statement released today, Melbourne-based SEA said that all of its employees will join Object Consulting, which has 140 staff across Melbourne and Sydney. However, it has been confirmed only five of the seven staff left at SEA have transferred to the Melbourne office of Object Consulting. SEA's chief executive officer, Nathan Brumby, and the rest of the five staff in Melbourne transferred to Object Consulting on 1 March, while the two SEA staff members manning the Canberra and Brisbane offices of SEA will finish up.

The AIIA will use its $250,000 present to undertake a two-year program to research issues that impact the development of the local software industry. The program will also address the areas deemed to be critical or highly beneficial to the industry and will facilitate the growth of Australian software companies. The funds will enable the AIIA to add a software quality accreditation component to its current training, mentoring and networking program.

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