It’s showtime folks

On 6 and 7 March 2002, the Grand Hall at London’s Olympia will be the setting for this premier show where visitors will be able to preview the latest software, attend seminars and talks, and hear impartial advice from top consultants.

This spring, we will all be hoping to avoid any kind of repeat of the last show at the Birmingham NEC last Autumn, when troubled financial software company QSP collapsed during the course of the event. Confused delegates were greeted by a dark, abandoned stand with computers switched off and marketing literature left behind.

This time however, it will be possible to talk to ACCPAC, following its announcement that its recently-launched, next-generation internet and wireless-based eCRM solution is now available for just £80 per month, via the ACCPAC Online ‘software as a service’ hosted facility.

ACCPAC will demonstrate how SMEs and mid-market companies can take advantage – through a web browser or wireless application protocol (WAP) enabled device – of market-leading levels of sales force automation, marketing campaign management, call centre functionality and customer care previously only available to multinational corporations.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Great Plains business partner, Eclipse Computing, will be promoting its new Professional Services Automation model, targeted at users of Microsoft Great Plains business software.

Eclipse has reseller agreements with a number of PSA vendors including SharpOWL and Datum Consulting.

It has developed a PSA model targeted at professional services organisations who are already operating Microsoft Great Plains as their back office solution, but wish to have far greater visibility and management of the projects undertaken on behalf of their clients.

Trevor Cole, business development director at Eclipse Computing, said: ‘Customers need to beware that the PSA acronym, like customer relationship management before it, has become almost meaningless. It can now cover anything from a simple project management tool right up to a complete services management solution.’

Olympia will be the setting for OpenAccounts to unveil its Project Accounting, where it will also demonstrate its core financial software.

The software house has spent the best part of two years developing its enterprise project accounting and finance solution for service organisations, and is designed to afford project managers tight control over project budgets no matter where they are working in the world.

Project Accounting provides all this and has been designed so that managers can gain access to up-to-date information, usually held within multiple systems, at any time. Managing director of Open- Accounts, David Cook, said: ‘Customers were delighted that there was now an end-to-end enterprise solution which allowed them to view and control costs over their multiple projects.’

He added: ‘One of our three new customers has over 400 project managers accessing Project Accounting via a web browser, enabling them to update and keep a close check on projects wherever they are in the world.’

OpenAccounts will be holding seminars throughout the exhibition in room A13.Software developers Comshare will preview its management planning and control application Comshare MPC 4.5 at this year’s Softworld fair.

This new product combines the processes of planning, budgeting, financial consolidation, management reporting and analysis into a single system.

According to the company, Comshare MPC 4.5 has a number of differentiating features that will redefine the way organisations create and deliver budgets, forecasts and results. Michael Coveney, director of product marketing at Comshare said: ‘Comshare MPC 4.5 has the ability to provide those independent assessments at a detailed level, which can then be used to generate forecasts, seed budgets and report on trends.

‘This not only eliminates the tedious process of generating realistic plans and budgets but also provides confidence in the accuracy of those plans.’

Additionally, Albany Software will be launching its latest eTransactions enabling software product, ALBACS Remit at the show.

Its Remit product is an electronic document delivery solution aimed at SME organisations and will give users the ability to generate and distribute remittance advises directly from their computer desktop.

Commenting on the new product Albany MD Adrian Stafford-Jones said: ‘ALBACS Remit is targeted specifically at SME businesses and challenges the competition in terms of low cost of entry, rapid implementation and ease of use.’

He added that it was the ‘ideal software product for any SME organisation that wishes to take its first steps on the road to adopting eTechnologies’.

Not to be outdone, accounting software giant Sage will give visitors to this spring’s Softworld a preview of new versions of its core accounting products, Sage Line 50 and Sage Line 100.

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