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Software Shortlist Merges with iStart

Today we’re pleased to announce that Software Shortlist is merging with leading technology publisher iStart. It’s an important  milestone for our company and we’re excited about the opportunities ahead.

From our perspective, the merger is a natural fit between the two businesses. It expands our reach and capabilities in key areas, giving us an excellent platform for growth as well as enabling broader, more effective solutions for our customers.

Both brands are retained, with Software Shortlist’s founders joining the iStart board.

See below for the official announcement:


Media release

B2B Lead Generation Service Signals Maturing Online Market

Friday, 29 June 2012

‘Sales leads as a service’ is a new concept in Australia and New Zealand, but a recent merger will bring the offering to a market eager for tools to improve sales productivity…

Business technology publisher iStart (, and demand generation firm Software Shortlist ( today announced their merger, effective 1 July 2012, to create an integrated platform for technology marketers in the region.

The resulting business will provide an end-to-end marketing solution for vendors to create awareness, generate demand and connect them with relevant, qualified buyers.

Jessica Fardin, APAC Senior Marketing Manager for Epicor commented on the merger.

“In returning to this region [from global IT marketing roles in Europe] the focus is to really get the lead machine going – budgets are tight, expectations are high and we need to prove ROI. This model allows us to do that.” said Fardin.

“We had relationships in place with both businesses, so a merged entity makes good sense from our perspective and we look forward to sharing in their success,” she said.

Both brands will be retained in the merger, with Software Shortlist founders Xavier Russo and Craig Westcott joining Hayden McCall and Ian Plater as directors on the iStart board.

The merger reflects the vital role of online research in the discovery, selection and purchase of enterprise software.

“We recognised this as a natural strategic fit,” said iStart chairman Ian Plater. “Buyers are too often postponing the decision for a new system or ending up with solutions that do not fit their business because the selection process is too difficult or overwhelming.”

“The combined offering can open the eyes of decision makers to what new technology can do, and nurture their interest right through to introducing them to vendors who have proven they can deliver on their requirements.

“Vendors are also looking for partners who can understand their needs and provide a service-based offering that provides a return on their precious marketing investment,” said Plater.

The merger will offer significant benefits to the combined entity’s 100+ clients and creates a platform for future growth across not only Australia and New Zealand but the wider Asia-Pacific region.

The trend globally is towards online lead generation as vendors engage third parties to help deliver qualified sales-ready leads. Online lead generation is a well-established element of the marketing mix in North America and Europe, but is still an emerging business model in Australia & New Zealand.

Together, iStart and Software Shortlist engage a targeted audience of over 40,000 A/NZ business and IT decision makers every week via three websites, a print magazine, email newsletters, and various client campaigns.

About iStart (,

iStart publishes iStart technology in business magazine and related websites and eNewsletters from offices in Auckland and Sydney. Established in New Zealand in 2001, iStart launched in Australia in 2008, and opened a Sydney office in 2011. iStart specialises in technology thought leadership, case studies, industry trends and related news. All content is freely available online, with the magazine available on a subscription basis or free to qualified business or IT decision makers. iStart is privately owned.

About Software Shortlist (

Software Shortlist specialises in helping businesses improve performance through software. Inspired by similar demand generation services in the US and Europe, the company provides a free shortlisting and referral service called “Get a Shortlist” to connect qualified prospects with relevant vendors. It also publishes a range of free information and resources that buyers can register online to access. Software Shortlist launched in Melbourne in 2009 and acknowledges support from the Australian government’s Commercializing Emerging Technology (COMET) program.