Users applaud CBA buyback

CBA developer Don Bowman's buyback of the popular Kiwi accounting package is good news for customers who feared Platinum would drop the product. Platinum CBA, used by 6500 people in New Zealand and Australia, has been bought by Focus Business Solutions, run by Don Bowman, for an undisclosed sum from Californian company Platinum Software.

CBA developer Don Bowman’s buyback of the popular Kiwi accounting package is good news for customers who feared Platinum would drop the product.

Platinum CBA, used by 6500 people in New Zealand and Australia, has been bought by Focus Business Solutions, run by Don Bowman, for an undisclosed sum from Californian company Platinum Software.

CBA resellers and customers were informed of the acquisition by fax. The only concerns about the deal came from some customers who asked about the financial security of Focus, a company much smaller than Platinum.

Focus, with 25 staff in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Sydney and Brisbane, will develop and distribute Platinum CBA. Version 2.0 is due out in August.

Platinum bought CBA from Bowman’s former company, Auckland-based Automation One, in 1993. Financial software company Platinum acquired Automation One, and its DOS-based product CBA, for its 12,000-strong Australasian customer base and distribution structure. The plan was to take those clients and migrate them to Platinum’s own Windows product — Platinum for Windows.

However, CBA users proved to be fiercely loyal, many of them sticking with the DOS product because of its functionality and optimisation for local accounting practices.

David van Toor, Platinum director of operations for Asia Pacific, estimates that Platinum invested $US3.5 million into the ongoing development of CBA during four-year ownership. CBA has 6500 active licences and 11,000 licences altogether, including TV3.

Stephen Sims, regional director of Platinum, says market demand has meant that Platinum’s main focus in this region has always been Platinum CBA.

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