A year to the day since it picked up, at a knock-down price, the trade and assets of D&B Software, Geac Computer has said it took on 200 new customers in the time for its SmartStream client-server financials and human resources system, has managed to hold on to 2,500 customers for some of the industry’s most venerable mainframe-bound applications, has pushed its stock to all-time highs around C$90, and has become the fourth fastest growing software house in the process. Innovative it ain’t, but Geac is succeeding where D&B Software seemed singularly incapable: feeding its user bases with clear client-server marketing signals and putting out dull but worthy code enhancements to its mainframe base – just as it did last month when it released Year 2000 compliant upgrades for Accounts Payable and Purchase Order for Millennium on ICL, Accounts Receivable for E-Series and Millennium on IBM, General Ledger 3M for DB2, and Project Tracking for E-Series (CI No 3,264). It has also signaled some clear intentions to focus future SmartStream attentions on becoming a leader in financial and human resources systems on Microsoft BackOffice – distancing itself from the highly competitive enterprise resources planning market that D&B Software had tried repeatedly to enter. As a first step, the company points to the availability of a new version of SmartStream for SQL Server that is fully integrated with the entire BackOffice suite, tying it with SQL Server 6.5 and SMS (Microsoft’s Systems Management Server). Determined to be seen to adding value to its installed mainframe applications base – from which the company creams around $200m a year in maintenance – the company’s promise to ‘enhance mainframe reporting facilities’ appear now to be slowly taking shape. Building on a use of PowerMart, the data extraction and transformation engine from data warehousing leading light Informatica, the intention is to provide a bridge between data corralled as part of some existing Millennium or E-Series mainframe application and the growing network of data marts springing up round most corporations. For sites looking for a suite approach, Geac has announced its Enterprise Warehouse a bundling of query and reporting options base on use of popular tools from Cognos, Business Objects and Applications Partners.
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