Mid-range Systems – SmartStream gets set for 2000

A new version of Geac’s mid-range SmartStream system is available from 23 January that introduces new supply-chain, project management and human resource modules.

Starting from around #100,000-#120,000 for a 20-user licence, SmartStream version 5.0 is more closely coupled to Microsoft’s BackOffice suite, with development underway to adapt future versions to the next releases of Windows NT and SQL Server.

According to Geac’s UK SmartStream product manager Alan Hunt, independent benchmarks have shown the product to be capable of supporting 150 simultaneous users. ‘NT is proving itself man enough for the job,’ said Hunt.

The year 2000 and the single European currency will spark a shake-out in the accounting software industry, said Hunt, who noted an upsurge in demand from public-sector clients, many of whom use Geac’s older mainframe Millennium system.

‘There is a sudden realisation that the year 2000 affects them as well and that complex applications like SAP are too difficult to implement,’ said Hunt. West Wiltshire Council, for example, replaced a mainframe system with SmartStream within three months.

‘Companies with good existing products are really going to struggle for the research and development money to adapt their systems for the year 2000 and the euro,’ he said.

Since the former Dun & Bradstreet Software was acquired by Geac for $256m (#158m) last year, it has been able to make the investment necessary to convert the SmartStream product to Windows NT and prepare for the millennium and the euro, said Hunt.

In half-yearly figures released in December, Geac reported the DBS business generated more than $100m (#62m).

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