Software houses can endure downturn

Mentioning vendors such as Epicor, Scala, Navision and Exchequer, Howlett said these software houses provided scalable products, databases that could be accessed by non-financial users and had solved the problems faced by the upcoming conversion to the euro.

He argued that during gloomy economic conditions, companies buying software were not interested in analyst talk about ‘technology bases’ and ‘vision’ which he called ‘red herrings’, but in functionality.

‘I have long argued that as long as debits remain on the left and credits on the right, it is a moot point as to which package one acquires,’ Howlett said.

For this reason, companies like Epicor, Scala, Navision and Exchequer had been able to compete with the ‘big boys’ because they own a ‘rich product set’.

Other factors in the mid-range companies’ favour include their lower costs, reduced maintenance requirements and the speed at which things are done.

‘Mid-range vendors have plenty to offer, even where functionality is not as deep as the SAP’s of this world,’ he said.

To read Howlett’s full analysis, on the current state of the business software market, written exclusively for, click here.

  • Dennis Howlett is a freelance technology writer and one of the software judges in this year’s Accountancy Age Awards for Excellence.

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