PracticeConsultingWalker raises game

Walker raises game

Tamaris offering aims to take the high ground from SAP in the '98 corporate market. John Stokdyk reports.

Walker International set out its stall in the enterprise software market this January with the launch of the first offering in its new Smart Financials portfolio.

Tamaris XE (Extended Enterprise) is pitched at organisations with large transaction volumes. The code was developed in the US for mainframe systems, which Walker senior vice-president Paul Lord said remain the best servers for large, distributed corporate systems.

Tamaris XE includes procurement, financial management and revenue management modules built around what Lord calls ‘best practice’.

The idea behind Walker’s Smart Financials range is to move beyond simple, ledger-based accounting systems. ‘We try to mirror what our customers do,’ said Lord. ‘People want management insight, not SAP.’

The new product is the first step of an ambitious development strategy designed to facilitate financial ‘simulation’, he said. The concept includes the possibility of completing a ‘virtual close’, Lord explained, where the accounts for the year ending 31 December could be closed on 10 December.

Lord added that such a system would help FDs spot trends early to take corrective action. The software would also be able to match invoices with estimates, and learn as it did so.

By offering both mainframe Tamaris XE products and the client/server Aptos product range, Walker is aiming to boost its turnover to $200m (#124m).

To give an indication of the challenge Walker faces in the enterprise software market, German software company SAP announced revenues of just under #1bn for the first nine months of its financial year – up 61% on the previous year.

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