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December 16, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

After six years as a low-profile accounting software developer, Dublin-based Software Laboratories Ltd has just announced a second major contract, this time estimated at UKP15m over five years. It is with sales and marketing organisation Linkor SA, based in Paris. Although the Irish company was formed in 1981 it has started serious marketing of its product, Unigem, only this year: its first major coup was an order from NEC in Australia, worth around UKP17m (CI No 770). Software Labs claims that Unigem is unique amongst the plethora of accounting packages currently available, one of the reasons being that the system was specifically designed for the value-added reseller market. The system consists of an on-line transaction processing environment, integral applications development tools and a series of accounting applications with a database at the heart of it. Unigem can be converted by software houses to fit a multitude of different applications, claims the company, such as travel agent booking systems and trading systems. Unigem runs on any Unix-based system conforming to X/Open specifications. Software Labs expects to announce a number of contracts with manufacturers of Unix-based machines during the first half of 1988 as well as agreements with software and systems houses. The company was self-financed for its first five years, and covered development costs by selling its software on a controlled basis. In 1986 the Irish government took a minority shareholding in Software Labs to give it sufficient money to start a marketing campaign. The company currently employs some 50 people, and the signing with Linkor gives it a sales force of 66, but next year it expects to grow to some 200 staff, most of them on development.

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