Financial and business management software company Greentree is developing unique technology that will provide automatic testing for new programmes so it can pump out software upgrades on a daily basis.
The technology would also smooth the way to ensure compatibility of add-ons and upgrades for customised and standard software packages.
The advanced capability means Greentree is set to take greater market share internationally with its business software which incorporates financial, distribution, supply chain management, point of sale, manufacturing, project costing, customer relationship management (CRM), services and asset management, HR, payroll and eCommerce options.
The software vendor has already created footholds into the United States and United Kingdom markets in the past year as it embarks on international expansion.
Greentree’s research and development also focuses on mobile application integration of its software as more work is being done away from the office, through the use of mobile computing devices such as PDAs (personal digital assistants) and cellphones.
The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology is partnering Greentree with investment support of $350,000 to tackle technically challenging and ground breaking aspects of its development project.
“Greentree is New Zealand’s largest developer of business software. It competes against big multinational companies but it has been able to carve out a successful niche.
“Innovation that gives unique customer benefits will help ensure Greentree remains successful,” says Foundation Business Manager, Tom McLeod.
Greentree’s Chief Executive Peter Dickinson says a key to the success of the mobile developments is maintaining all the functionality of its software programmes within the limitation of a mobile footprint.
“One seamless architecture is the goal but it is going to need some serious innovation to get there,” says Dickinson.
In the other critical area of its software delivery is Greentree’s aim to change the paradigm by making a new software release every night. The traditional software release lifecycle usually involves a whole year’s development being released annually rather than as it becomes available.
“But there are currently no automatic testing tools or quality testing capabilities to enable this speed of delivery so companies spend months testing before making new inventions or upgrades available,” says Dickinson.
Software customisation options can also be highly invasive and traditionally cause programmes to stop working together.
Greentree’s R&D, costing more than $1.3 million, will solve those problems so that customers can run multiple software add-ons without programming conflict.
“Others have achieved partial solutions or worked on pieces of this but there is no product on the market yet that will do what Greentree is doing,” says Dickinson.
“They must be quick on their feet, they’ve got to be flexible and adapt quickly to new business initiatives, strategies and processes when operating in competitive markets so part of the Greentree mantra is to help make them nimble and to do it economically,” he says.
It takes barely six weeks to implement a typical Greentree system in a mid-sized organisation.
“This additional capability will put us in a market leading position, able to compete with the world’s largest ERP (enterprise resource planning) software brands.”
Dickinson says time lines would have been extended, increasing the project’s risk and potential financial payback, without the investment from the Foundation.
“The cool thing about this market is that it is the biggest market in the world. It is the food industry of the software world because every company has one of these systems in some shape or form, from small, basic accounting packages to the most comprehensive business software management systems,” says Dickinson, who admits an addiction to seeing New Zealand software being exported to the world.