Tiny Vista set for Microsoft success

Nelson company Vista's web-based customer relationship management software is likely to ship in this country with Microsoft's Small Business Server 2000 product.

Nelson company Vista’s web-based customer relationship management software is likely to ship in this country with Microsoft’s Small Business Server 2000 product.

Vista’s Bill Irwin says the software has been developed at the three-year-old, three-staff member company throughout its history, with the web version taking two years.

Vista will be shipped from May 1 with every copy of Microsoft’s Small Business Server, he says. Irwin says the software makes it easy for firms to contact clients by synchronising phones, email and faxes. “It provides a database of contacts and, later, a portal to accounts and document management.”

Four firms are already trialling the system, with two others about to go live. “It gives us great possibilities. The intention of Vista is to be a global player,” says Irwin.

Microsoft’s Alex Morcom says the company is putting a package together with Vista but details have not yet been finalised and he hopes to make an announcement in two weeks.

“We have seen the software. It looks great. It’s a lively piece of locally developed software. We are pretty enthusiastic about it,” Morcom says.

Vista Software plans to market the product overseas using partners to sell it as a component for overseas systems. The company is also seeking a major ISP to offer it in New Zealand as a web-based service.

Irwin says revenue and the impact of the Microsoft deal depends on sales of the Small Business Server. “I won’t make millions out of New Zealand. Here we are making it low cost, high volume. The New Zealand market will be a great start, but it’s more proof of concept,” he says.

Vista forms part of a small cluster of start-ups operating under Nelson’s Computerland franchise. Other IT companies in the franchise include SQL Services, which provides specialised database administration services for SQL servers in New Zealand and the US. The 18-month-old business, which is looking for Asian partners, employs six, including consultants in the main cities, and performs services remotely from Nelson. Nimbus Software produces accounting software for service industries using SQL servers.

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