Christchurch-based Jade Group has formed its first Japanese partnership with management resource planning software company Dot Shell.
As part of Jade's partner programme, Dot Shell will use Jade development tools to develop its flagship MRP product DMCS (Dot Shell Manufacturing Control System), says Marc Ward of the company's international affairs division.
The company aims to push DMCS into the ERP space, and has added an accounting module as the first step, says Ward. He also highlighted other planned modules such as human resources and sales prediction.
So far, he says, DMCS has met with success as the "alternative products are too expensive for medium-sized Japanes companies".
Ward says Dot Shell had identified a need for greater development flexibility. Although a package solution, DMCS "has three different versions to suit different implementation types, offers some subversions and can be further modified to suit customer requirements".
David van Rhee, a senior design engineer for Dot Shell, says the company was looking for a toolset that enabled it to develop a base product that could be customised and maintained easily and cost effectively. Object orientation was the best route to follow for building this base, he says.
Jade, as an integrated, object- oriented programming technology, suited the company's needs.
Rhee says after reviewing the Jade Web site, Dot Shell realised it "was the kind of tool we needed". It then flew representatives to New Zealand to investigate further.
Van Rhee says Jade's support of Unicode, the 16-bit standard for character representation critical for visually complex languages like Japanese, was a fundamental requirement.
Dot Shell, with 70 staff in Japan, has an annual revenue of $US10 million. It supports hundreds of DMCS sites in Japan spread across numerous industry sectors.
The average DMCS installation has about 20 users, and the current version can be scaled up to around 40 to 50 users. Dot Shell also has a sister company in China with a staff of 30 developers. Jade group general manager Owen Scott says Dot Shell's experience reflected that of many other software development organisations with which the company has dealt. "With their existing tool sets they can't modify enterprise software packages or bespoke systems quickly and cost-effectively enough. Jade offers a speed of development and flexibility of deployment that is very attractive to these organisations."
Scott says the signing of Dot Shell is an important step in the company's expansion strategy which is to go international with its partnership programme and by building the infrastructure to sell, support and educate across the market.
"Jade Group now has partners in both Japan and Korea who will play an important role in converting the considerable interest we are attracting from South East Asia into members of the Jade partner programme," says Scott.