Awards 2005: mid-range software of the year – Access Dimensions

The Mid-range Software Package of the Year category was among the hardest
fought, but the award goes to Access Dimensions.

The company, which formed in the early 1990s, has recently seen dramatic
growth. The number of sites in which Access Dimensions resides has leapt from
1,241 to 1,762 in the last year ­ a 42% increase.

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The software can also be customised by either users or independent
developers. Customers can extensively customise the product’s front end,
including multi-language and custom field options, while developers can use the
software developer’s kit. However these changes are made outside the core
application, allowing them to be retained during upgrades.

The product has glowing testimonials from customers.

Using 35 modules, the structure allows organisations to pick and choose the
functionality required, with clients ranging from £1m to £500m turnover.
‘Dimensions offers such extensive flexibility for growth, I cannot see why SMEs
would use any other package,’ says John Gibbons, director of finance and
administration of the Family Planning Association.

For business with more complex accounting needs, such as multi-currency
reporting, then Access is well able to cope, says Medi UK financial and IT
contoller Nigel Mundy.

Multi-period reporting, which allows organisations to keep open two years’
accounts at all times, is a unique process that Dimensions handles ‘very well’,
says Royal Philharmonic Orchestra FD Richard Huxtable. ‘We are able to treat
each concert as a separate project,’ he adds, praising Dimensions’ costing
module. ‘These are quickly and easily set up.’

Access’ customer care has also won huge commendation from users. RBLI
director of finance Hedley Bruce has ‘nothing but praise’ for the company. ‘They
are proactive in contacting us to ensure we are satisfied and I have great
confidence in them,’ says Bruce.

‘Access teams a mix of approachable and technically exceptional people, with
whom we have a good two-way relationship and regular contact, which we value
highly,’ Huxtable adds.

Growth has come from new fields. Its work in the not-for-profit sector is
proven by its testimonials, while integrating a time and billing module has seen
growth by 50% among architects. Sales in the manufacturing sector have increased
100% in the past 12 months.

The software has also scored highly on its reliability. In the latest ICAEW
business software survey Access software had the lowest business-critical
failure rate compared to nine leading competitors.

‘Dimensions is an intuitive and easy-to-use solution that gives a real
feeling of security,’ says Roger Cunningham, financial controller of Sue Ryder

The judges also gave a high commendation to Hansaworld’s entry. One
testimonial came from St John’s Hospital financial controller Sheena Owens: ‘Our
expectations in choosing HansaWorld enterprise over the competitor’s offerings
have been exceeded and we are particularly pleased with the ease of use, the
stability of the system and the level of support provided by our reseller.’

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