‘CS Group merger will not dampen quality’ says Iris

Iris, the accounting software group, has rubbished claims by rivals that its
recent merger with Computer Software Group will compromise the service and
product it offers accountants.

Responding to claims by MYOB UK head Richard Allen that the CS Group merger
would distract Iris from focusing on accountants, Iris MD for practice
management Robert Salvoni promised that Iris would not let accountants down.

‘The CS Group does introduce other vertical markets but my focus is entirely
on accountants.

‘There is no sharing of R&D, sales and marketing resources and we are
investing millions in products for accountants. We are recruiting for growth and
we are committed to improving,’ Salvoni said.

Allen had questioned whether the £500m merger between Iris and CS Group,
which focuses on legal and HR software, would see Iris become a large
conglomerate like Sage, which had to spread itself across a number of sectors
instead of focusing on accountants.

‘Sage has increasingly diversified itself to focus on a wide variety of
vertical markets.

‘Feedback from accountants and the small business community shows that the
impact of this has been a strong feeling of disenfranchisement. I can’t help but
think that Iris may now suffer from the same problems as it pursues a wide
vertical market strategy,’ Allen said.

MYOB had its fingers burnt when it purchased Solution 6, which had become too
diversified and needed to be refocused on serving accountants: ‘Accountants need
their software suppliers to be even more focused on their market than ever
before,’ said Allen.

‘They need software that assists in stripping out cost and resource from low
value accountancy work and that enhances the service they can provide to their
clients,’ he added.

Iris merged with CS Group earlier this month in a deal financed by private
equity player Hellman & Friedman.

Iris has also purchased payroll business Earnie in recent months, along with
PTP Software.

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