Awards 2001 – Dragnet E-Business Solutions – E-business Innovation of the Year

Dragnet has seen off stiff competition to win this year’s inaugural E-business Innovation of the Year Award.

The judges were impressed with the software company’s offering in one of the most diverse categories in this year’s Accountancy Age Awards for Excellence. Companies, consultants and technology businesses all sought to win the award.

The dotcom bubble may have well and truly burst, but the need for pragmatic e-business solutions is greater than ever. The judges recognised Dragnet as a company serving that need better than its direct – and often somewhat indirect – competitors.

What Dragnet has sought to do is deliver e-business solutions by offering customers access to new markets, improved efficiency, cost savings through reduced paper processes and increased profits through improved customer services. It has succeeded in doing this with customers in a variety of sectors – medical to architectural and manufacturing to dental equipment. By selling through a network of highly trained partners, customers are also reassured they will have the support they need.

The company has done all this by creating a trading environment where back office processes are integrated with web technology. Where it differs with other systems is that Dragnet takes the business rules from an accounting solution – say Sage Line 50 or Pegasus Opera – and presents it on the web. Therefore when an account customer logs in, they operate with all their usual trading terms and individual discount structures.

The result on the website is the same as that keyed directly into the accounting system – eliminating duplication of effort and freeing staff to concentrate on driving the business. Similarly – whether B2B, B2C or merely a company extranet – companies can use professional web development tools to develop their site. Hosting can be in-house or external and Dragnet’s Site Manager product enables customers to control their own site – adding pages, newsgroups or questionnaires.

Dragnet goes beyond a trading solution. It includes payroll and CRM without disruption to the back office system. The resultant product is a web-based solution using a universal user interface, which integrates all aspects of the back office with the web, allowing any customer – internal or external – to have full access to the company. ‘There is a lot of work going on in this category,’ the judges said.

‘The selection has proved difficult as several entries could have won. Some ideas have got promise but have to deliver.’

But in the case of Dragnet they added: ‘There are innovative ideas in this category with plenty of promise. Ultimately, Dragnet has a pragmatic solution that reflects what we see as current reality being delivered.’

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