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January 6, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Leeds-based financial software house Coda Ltd will be announcing formation of a US subsidiary, Coda Inc, this month. The US unit will be setting up shop in Manchester, New Hampshire under James Wood, ex-managing director of competitor Ross Systems of Palo Alto, California. Coda will also shortly introduce an IBM System 36 and 38 implementation of its Integrated Accounting System, IAS. The system – already running on Hewlett-Packard HP3000 computers and DEC VAXes – features on-line integrated purchase, sales and nominal ledgers for multi-company, multi-currency report writing. It also enables on-line enquiries, automatic bank reconciliation and reports on demand. Coda says that 9,999 companies with book-keeping entries can be held on-line for 99 years. ?2m-a-year Coda will begin marketing the IBM product in April but managing director Rodney Potts hopes to have around 10 copies installed by then. Initial sales will be handled by Coda but after that third parties will also be involved. Agents for the Hewlett-Packard product include Hoskyns Plc and Prolog Systems Ltd of Wimbledon while K3 Software Services, part of Kalamazoo Plc, markets the DEC implementation launched in 1985. Potts says he has been approached by a couple of distributors for the IBM version of IAS but as yet no firm agreements have been made. Pepperl and Fuchs, a German electronics company based in Mannheim, already has the System 38 software installed and it is due to go live in January. Coda claims it is probably the leading supplier of financial software to the Hewlett-Packard HP3000 market with 300 licences, 200 from its IAS product and 100 from minor payroll and fixed assets software. Estimating between 2,000 and 3,000 commercial DEC VAXes in the UK and with just 100 licences to date, it sees enormous potential, and is aiming for a further 100 sales by year-end. Bangkok Although prices vary, depending on the number of users and machines, Coda never sells a package for less than ?10,000 and for a DEC VAX at the top end of the range it is looking at in the region of ?100,000. Support is charged at 15% of the current cost of the package. Coda currently has 30 systems overseas and has just signed a contract with Ben Line Steamers Ltd of Edinburgh to install the DEC IAS product in its offices in Hong Kong and Singapore and to upgrade the existing product in Edinburgh. A further contract in Bangkok may follow. The company will be focussing on the multi-currency aspect of its financial software when it moves into the US. It hopes to get contracts from US companies with subsidiaries worldwide and says this feature will make IAS a sensible to solution to accounting requirements. Starting out with four people, Coda Inc is forecast to do $500,000 in a little under 12 months. Coda set up an office in Bracknell, Berkshire two months ago to act as a marketing and support organisation. It is forecasting turnover of just under ?3m this year and expects to increase the number of employees from 35 to around 45 by October. A planned public listing has been delayed because of the cost of expanding operations and getting the new product off the ground but Potts still hopes to go public on the Unlisted Securities Market by 1990. Plans are also in the pipeline to do a Unix version of IAS but that will wait until vendors of mid-range equipment commit themselves to the operating system.

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