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Focus propella-d into e-commerce

Tuesday, 17 October, 2000 by Darren Greenwood Computerworld

Propella capable of being installed as a run-time product without the need for any additional third-party charges.

After 12,000 hours of development, Brian Keltie feels his accounting software package is ready for B2B e-commerce.

The Windows-based Propella system has been developed over two years by Auckland-based Focus Computer Systems with the help of a $224,000 grant from Technology New Zealand. The 20-year-old company is already using the software for its own accounting, distribution and manufacturing, while the package is undergoing beta testing in time for an official launch in the new year.

Keltie, a Focus director, says the marketing of Propella is still being finalised, but it will retail for around $1800 a user, with the package including financial, stocks and order processing. Features like contact management and manufacturing requirement planning are likely to cost extra. Rental over an ASP model is also being considered. The product is Web-enabled.

Propella is capable of being installed as a run-time product without the need for any additional third-party charges, such as database or report writer licences, assuming an existing Windows 95, 98 or NT network is installed.

Keltie says Technology New Zealand provided the catalyst for the bulk of Propella's "engine" work, allowing Focus to build a product that was more robust and offered more features than originally planned.

Focus is looking for outside investors to help market the product worldwide through the Internet, local dealerships and international alliances. The company, which employs 10 staff, plans to double numbers over the next year or two. It is looking at licensing and distribution agreements, or opening offices in Sydney and Melbourne.

"With over 12,000 hours of input, it's a substantial product. We are delivering simplicity with underlying complexity. The person using the system does not see the complexity but the many features delivered," Keltie says.

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