Jade goes to the US

The development tool Jade has attracted its first US customer, which is already two months down the track in tailoring a financials system sold to it by one of the Jade company's Auckland applications development partners.

The development tool Jade has attracted its first US customer, which is already two months down the track in tailoring a financials system sold to it by one of the Jade company’s Auckland applications development partners.

Jade will not yet divulge the name of the ultimate client, but says it is a worldwide company in the apparel industry.

Jade has not had a significant presence or business in the US until now, but will shortly be sending a team there to follow up potential conversions to Jade from the old Linc mainframe language on which the company — formerly Aoraki and before that the Unisys Linc development centre — was founded.

The first US Jade customer, however, was not a Linc user.

Much of Jade’s market currently in the UK and Australia is through applications written in the Jade language with the aid of partners. Prominent application areas are health, education, ports and shipping and payroll and human resources.

Jade started off the year with a commitment by the Skipton Building Society, the UK’s largest company of its type, to base all its future IT on Jade (see Computerworld, February 4).

Skipton is a former Linc user. It dipped its toe in the Jade waters two years before, with a customer relationship management system.

The market for Jade in New Zealand is flat at present, says communications manager Greg Williamson, probably because the company has saturated the available market in those application areas, at least for the time being.

The UK and Australia are where the growth is now, he says.

An Atlanta-based private investor in Jade, Roger Bhole, is reportedly anxious to see the company establish a stronger presence in the US. Bhole’s investment was part of a capital notes issue late last year.

Jade plans to float fully by early next year, a move which will be a major culture change for the company, Williamson says.

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