Software developer Intergen, largely drawn from the staff of the former Glazier Systems, is close to completion of a records management product riding on the back of Microsoft’s Sharepoint portal server.
But it could have come to market more quickly and effectively if the company had not developed it too far before it applied for a government grant.
The software, Custodian, fills a gap in Sharepoint’s functionality, says Intergen business development director Wayne Forgeson. Sharepoint has basic intranet and document management capabilities, but does not approach records management, the discipline of keeping track of the whereabouts of physical and electronic records and the right of users to access them.
One half of Custodian manages the location, indexing, issue and return of records, and the other handles their archiving and destruction, maintaining a retention schedule to tell the organisation when records can be destroyed. The two sets of functions are packaged into two WebParts to integrate closely with Sharepoint, and will not work without it. The two modules are sold as one product.
Its leading rivals, Forgeson says, are more bulky and expensive stand-alone products with interfaces into Sharepoint.
Custodian will be downloadable from the web for $US2000. Intergen wants to make purchase of the product as simple as possible, Forgeson says.
With minimal publicity, “just a mention on our website”, Custodian has already aroused interest from the UK, the US, Germany, Spain and Australia. “We’re getting two or three queries a week,” Forgeson says.
Custodian will have its own branding for the international market, independent of the Intergen name, since Intergen’s main business, in development, is essentially local. It has customers overseas, but could not sustain a full-scale international marketing campaign yet, nor handle the interest it might generate.
Microsoft is including Custodian in its online “gallery” of components, whence an intending purchaser will be directed to the Custodian website.
In applying for an R&D grant for the product, Intergen found the project did not qualify because it was too far advanced.
“There’s a gap in the market for funding to commercialise an almost completed project,” Forgeson says. A grant would have enabled Custodian to come to market more quickly, and assisted with getting external feedback on the development and setting up marketing channels in a shorter time.
Custodian is undergoing final testing and is scheduled for launch by the end of this month.