This sporting life

For anyone who hasn't been to the Computerworld Expo or any of the other trade shows that Mike Nelson of SLIK Software has attended in the last couple of years, the company is a Kiwi success story just waiting to happen.

Wow, and I thought my weeks were full. Thanks to the Tri Nations Series and the NRL I’ve watched plenty of excellent sport of late. In the case of the latter competition, I was lucky enough to watch the Warriors home game against the Eels from the Ericsson box.

Actually another big treat on the weekend was watching my daughter at her first ice hockey session. Now this, sports fans, is a hugely underrated and undersubscribed game in this part of the world. Compared with ice hockey F1 is like watching paint dry.

Having grown up in Christchurch – which has had an indoor rink for much longer than I can remember (not to mention easy access to the high country lakes) – I grew up skating. Naturally enough, it’s something that I’ve done with my kids and now my youngest has decided that hockey’s her thing. Cool huh?

Why all the personal stuff? Well, occasionally I think we need to stop and take stock of what’s really important (not that I think the outcomes of the Tri Nations or the NRL are necessarily that important … it’s taking the time out that is).

Someone who never seems to take time out, though, is Mike Nelson from SLIK Software. For anyone who hasn’t been to the Computerworld Expo or any of the other trade shows that Mike has attended in the last couple of years, SLIK is a Kiwi success story just waiting to happen.

It was developed by Fisher & Paykel a couple of years ago when it implemented JD Edwards. Anyone who knows anything about F&P’s business knows that it’s very smart. The guys there have invented some very, very cool stuff over the years and to solve the problem of building the gazillion or so interfaces they needed to implement JDE they invented SLIK (Systems Legacy Interface Kit). Since then they continued to develop the product to the stage where Chris Wenzlick – the brains of the outfit – took his brainchild, left F&P and set up shop with Mike.

It doesn’t just do interfaces into JDE, either; it does interfaces into and out of just about anything and it does a whole bunch more besides. They’ve got another cool product called DBExplorer that, if ever you need to compare or synchronise database structures and contents, is well worth a look too.

Sadly, the market uptake’s been rather slow. We’ve bought it, Sky TV has bought it, F&P still use it and Mike’s working hard on a bunch of other deals but, like many other New Zealand companies with great products, it’s damned hard work.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not on Mike’s payroll – nor does he take me to the footy or provide me with silly discounts – I just think that this is a product that the whole world should know about. Check it out here.

Swanson is IT manager at W Stevenson & Sons in South Auckland. Send letters for publication to Computerworld Letters.

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