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Welcome to the Business Insights Newsletter

Australian Retail Software Provider takes on the world

September 7th, 2009

Category: Retail Business Tips

Interview with Bernie Hogan of Creative Computing

Interview with Bernie Hogan of Creative Computing

In this article, Retail Business Newsletter talks to Bernie Hogan, Managing Director of Creative Computing, about the company’s international expansion.

Retail Business Newsletter (RBN): Some of our readers might already be familiar with Creative Computing but what does your company do?

Bernie Hogan: We specialise in business systems for multi-store specialty store retailers, such as fashion, footwear, jewellery, furniture, mobile phones, etc.. Retailers that you could find in any typical shopping center.

RBN: And how long has Creative Computing been in existence?

Bernie Hogan: Our company has been operating for over 20 years. And throughout much of that time we have been developing, implementing and supporting refining  our core product CONTROL. Naturally it has gone through many upgrades and revisions over that time.

RBN: What geographic areas does Creative Computing operate in?

Bernie Hogan: For many years we have considered Australia as our market. However, in the last 3 years, we have had success outside Australia. We have gained a customer in the US; quite a large customer in Sri Lanka; and we will be able to announce our first customers in India and Singapore very soon.

RBN: So how did your company go about entering the Indian and Southeast Asian markets?  Do you have established company branches there?

Bernie Hogan: We believed it would take too long for us to establish our own offices etc. in those areas so we are working with local partners that bring their own local market knowledge.

RBN: Could tell us about one of these partners?

Bernie Hogan: Yes. One of the partners is Syntel. They are a large multi-national IT company with over 11,000 employees. They have offices throughout India, the US, Canada, Europe and Southeast Asia.

RBN: What value does Syntel bring to the partnership?

Bernie Hogan: They have a very strong retail background. Traditionally they have been providing consulting, programming and other services to large retailers, predominantly the US but increasingly to Indian domestic customers.   They now see the benefit of having a retail system product to go to market with, especially in the Indian domestic market.

RBN: Is this an exclusive partnership that you have with Syntel?

Bernie Hogan: No. The partnership with Syntel is quite important and we are fully committed to it but retail is such a big market that we believe there is plenty of opportunity for us to have more than one partner, both Tin India and other regions.

RBN: And what value does Creative Computing offer to this partnership?

Bernie Hogan: Like I said, Syntel has been working with some of the large retailers and they have some in-depth knowledge of some of those large retailers, but mostly in the back office and supply chain side. We can provide a lot of expertise about the point of sale, the in-store processing, and also more generally about the operation of mid-size retailers.

RBN: And I gather that this type of knowledge would be difficult to gain?

Bernie Hogan: We have gained our retail expertise over many years from working with many, many retailers from many different retail segments. So without employing people with that experience it would be very difficult to come by that knowledge.

Interviewer: So these projects with Indian companies such as Syntel. Do you expect the majority of projects with Syntel to be Indian, North American, European or even Australian projects?

Bernie Hogan: We are primarily focused on the Indian domestic market. However we are already working on opportunities in the US, the Middle East and other regions.

RBN: How do Point of Sale and Retail Systems in India differ to those you in Australia?

Bernie Hogan: I think the basic functionality required at the point of sale is quite similar, however there is more requirement for “management approval” of various POS functions in India. The back office varies substantially in at least two ways. One is that the tax calculating and reporting requirements are substantially more complex in India than they are Australia. Conversely, some replenishment requirements are less complex than similar size Australian retailers. However, like many things in India, I expect that level of complexity to rapidly increase among Indian organised retailers over the next couple of years. We look forward to meeting that challenge.

RBN: What about the United States? What differences are there in the software systems compared to Australia?

Bernie Hogan: I think in general the retail operation practices are similar between the two countries, but again the tax processing and reporting requirements are much more complex in the US.

The US market is obviously a mature market for retail systems and most retailers already have systems. So, like Australia, the US retail system market is primarily a replacement market, with many, many companies competing for opportunities to replace existing retail systems. However we have a very competitive offering.

RBN: What would be some advantages to a company in the US going with a product that is provided by a company such as yourself considering your Indian partnerships?

Bernie Hogan: Firstly, the licensing fees would be less than a US product with similar functionality. And Syntel brings much lower implementation costs as they can leverage people based in India.

To get more information about Creative Computing visit or to contact Bernie Hogan directly email

Bernie Hogan of Creative Computing

Bernie Hogan of Creative Computing