It took KBM Consultants seven months to earn what should come naturally to Australians - the right to call someone "mate". But when they finally did, KBM people had to admit to using some strange mateship-development tactics, none of which involved bonding over a couple of beers at a local pub. So, what's their secret? They used Visual Basic.
"Winmate was developed to meet the needs of computer users to enable them to navigate the Windows platform in a simple, concise manner," Brian Sinclair, KBM managing director, reveals, introducing his company's and the educational tools market's new best friend.
Launched last week, Winmate is a fully fledged CD-ROM product created by KBM in response to a generally perceived need that the IT software market needs more educational tools to help users navigate their platforms.
"We have developed an audio-video tool that allows the user to acquire knowledge quickly and not have to be concerned with reading larger user manuals or complicated reference guides in order to perform day-to-day tasks," Sinclair said.
As KBM's flagship product, Winmate is being positioned to cater for navigation-help-starved government, professional, corporate and educational markets where its ability to deliver significant productivity savings could make it an instant hit.
"A lot of software and books are written by technically minded guys, but there is an acute lack of gen-eral educational tools that would attract a 100 per cent positive response across the market," Sinclair explained. And according to KBM, so far, Winmate has achieved just that - 100 per cent praise.
"We have built an interactive, multi-functional product that will teach people how to use software while they're navigating through a particular program that can only add value to a user company or a software vendor," Sinclair said, expressing his confidence in the product.
However, despite its experimental successes, the 18-month-old company is yet to pass the test of operating in the real market.
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What it is: Software navigation and education toolTarget markets: government, professional, education, general publicPlatforms: Microsoft WindowsCurrent version: for training in Windows OS and Internet ExplorerPlanned versions: Excel, Word, Outlook Express, PowerPoint, AccessWho developed it: KBM ConsultantsTools used: Visual BasicFacts: suitable for bundling with major software