PracticePeople In PracticeDreamSuite believers

DreamSuite believers

A trio of old-time colleagues from CODA are backing a new family of business software, says John Stokdyk.

Some of the UK’s pioneering financial software developers have joined up to launch a family of business management progams called DreamSuite.

The software has been written by York-based Get Real Systems to run as companion applications for SquareSum’s Windows-based Dream accounting system. DreamSuite includes programs for purchase order processing, invoice matching, stock control, sales order processing, sales invoicing, project accounting, job costing and management reporting.

DreamSuite’s heritage is strongly influenced by CODA, which introduced the first single database accounting system in the early 1980s. Get Real was set up by former CODA support specialist Kevin McCarthy, who recruited CODA founder Rodney Potts as the company’s chairman last year.

The alliance with SquareSum reunites the Get Real team with Philip Taylor, another CODA founder, who encouraged McCarthy’s ambition to extend the unified ledger concept from accounting systems to other business processes.

Get Real chairman Potts remains the largest shareholder in CODA, but resigned as a director in 1994. On leaving, one of his objectives was to identify software companies in which he could invest.

Potts was attracted to Get Real and took a 25% equity investment, he explained, because he knew the people involved. ‘Software companies are all about people,’ he said. ‘I like them, they’re experienced and they’d already got through the toughest part of developing the product. Because they have not been constrained by an investment in legacy systems, they have been able to build a true Microsoft Windows architecture.’

The DreamSuite evolved from software originally installed and tested at Hereford & Worcester Training and Enterprise Council (TEC), which was commended by the government last year for its financial management. Dudley TEC and MBC Press in Bradford were also early users of the software, which now has seven licenced users.

A five-user network licence encompassing all the DreamSuite modules costs #17,500, and the Dream accounting application costs #22,500. But Get Real said that DreamSuite’s cost can be brought down by licencing different modules to individual users on the network.

‘What we are finding is that there’s a lot of interest from people who just want the purchase order processing module, which can be sold as a standalone product,’ said Potts. ‘Nobody really specialises in that area and there’s a dearth of product. A significant number of companies have discovered that we have a powerful, highly functional purchase order suite.’

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