Highlighting how far a software developer can go, one Systems Union business partner has revealed that its locally developed executive information system is now sold with more than 90 per cent of all sales of Systems Union's SunSystems financials package.
This makes Perth-based Lasata Computer Consultants among the highest value exporters of information technology in Australia. The Version 3 of Vision management tool now has more than 12,000 users in over 70 countries.
Users include General Motors, Mastercard, Pepsi Cola, the UK Cabinet Office, Department of Prime Minister in New Zealand and - closer to home - BHP, Grundy Entertainment and Burswood Resort.
Co-founder and director of Lasata, Tony Farrell, said Vision was developed after Lasata had been appointed an authorised SunCentre (agent) for SunSystems financial management software from Systems Union.
"We had worked on the EIS tools that were around and saw an opportunity with Sun Systems to build one that you didn't have to start at the bottom and build the logic of one system into another," he said.
"It was planned to be an EIS that was tailor-made for SunSystems, which is, in itself, a very flexible package."
Hitting a nerve
Lasata funded the development effort in the early days from revenues generated by a residential real estate package and its sales of SunSystems.
"It was a very skinny operation," said Farrell. "But we really hit a nerve with the Systems Union people.
"They saw it as a very valuable tool in the selling process. SunSystems is a very configurable system aimed at accountants.
"But, let's face it, a graphics based tool like Vision is going to make it easier to sell an accounting system than showing someone a journal entry."
Vision comes in two versions. Vision for SunSystems is aimed at senior executives that need to drill down through a set of accounts to display information.
Vision for Applications is aimed at accountants and allows SunSystems accounts to be shared and exchanged with a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
Systems Union handles distribution of Vision wherever it does business through its appointed agents - SunCentres. Systems Union also put the package through its own quality assurance process and handles support.