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Corel dips into Asia-Pacific inkwell

The Canadian software maker hones in on the enterprise sector in Asia-Pacific, with fresh partnerships aimed at spurring revenue growth.

Canadian software maker Corel is honing in on the enterprise sector in Asia-Pacific, with fresh partnerships to spur revenue growth.

Although the company declined to provide specific targets, Gavin Watson, Corel?s Asia-Pacific director, said the company inked a reseller agreement with PwC Consulting in Sydney about two weeks ago.

The deal will see PwC Consulting, which is in the process of being acquired by services giant IBM, selling Corel?s suite of enterprise applications to its customers in the region.

Watson told CNETAsia that the company has also finalized partnerships with three other consultants in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. In addition, it is in talks with several systems integrators as part of its new enterprise-centric strategy. However, Watson could not detail the number of partners in Corel's stable.

"In the past, we've been known as a box-solutions firm for SOHOs (small office, home office), but our acquisition of and SoftQuad has bolstered our enterprise capabilities," said Roe McFarlane, Corel's product manager for strategic marketing. "We are now repositioning ourselves as an enterprise-focused company," he added.

The Canadian company acquired business process and graphics solutions provider Micrografx and XML technologies developer SoftQuad in the third quarter of 2001.

Corel?s stable of enterprise software includes business diagram creator iGrafx Flowcharter 2003, XML content creation and distribution tool XMetaL, as well as the once dominant WordPerfect word-processing application.

In the United States the company recently unveiled another initiative to support its enterprise strategy. Corel is set to launch Grafigo, an application that handles graphics creation, viewing and editing on Tablet PCs in November.

On Wednesday, Corel reported a net loss of $59.1 million, or 64 cents a share, for the quarter, which ended Aug. 31. That compares with a profit of $500,000, or 2 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Total revenue was $31.3 million, compared with $34.2 million a year ago.

CNETAsia's Winston Chai reported from Singapore.