Geac Upgrades Accounting And Human-Resources Apps -- SQL Release 6.0 Simplifies Purchasing And HR Services For Midsize Companies




Event Summary

Geac SmartEnterprise Solutions released an updated version of its human resources and accounting applications for midsize companies at the beginning of January. SQL Financials and HR Release 6.0 are available immediately, as are a set of employee self-service applications that integrate with the suite. Geac SmartEnterprise, a division of Geac Computer Corp., acquired the SQL suite last year from Clarus Corp. The company says a key benefit of HR Release 6.0 is tight integration with the Clarus eProcurement suite, an application available separately through Clarus that simplifies and controls the purchase of office supplies and services by individual employees. Used with Geac's SQL financial suite, eProcurement enables a seamless purchasing process that links requisition activity directly to accounting systems, such as budgeting and accounts payable.

In addition, the rollout of a new component of the SQL HR suite called HRPoint gives users access to HR, benefits, and payroll information through a Web browser. Geac says HRPoint can reduce administrative costs and improve HR service to employees by eliminating paperwork and phone calls. Beth Price, Geac's human resources management systems product manager, says the SQL product line is aimed at companies with less than $1 billion in annual revenues, which typically require less complex tools than the high-end packages offered by Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP. SQL Release 6.0 and HRPoint are compatible with the latest versions of Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle database platforms. Financial and HR packages start at $40,000 per module, while HRPoint starts at $70,000. Pricing varies according to the number of licensed users.

Market Impact

Geac has proven itself an adroit and disciplined acquirer of application software businesses. The latest announcement of its expedient incorporation of Clarus' former product line is the most recent example. Furthermore, the mission-critical nature of its solutions makes the company a "first call provider" in some esoteric markets whose customers turn to it first for further system enhancements (See user recommendation). Geac intends to mine its existing large client base. While we believe that Geac's product strategy against the largest ERP vendors is shrewd, one should not discount fierce competition coming from its nimble mid-market competitors, like Lawson Software and Great Plains. These vendors have been offering self-service applications via the Web for over a year. Geac also trails these vendors with its CRM capabilities, which may prove detrimental to its new license revenue growth.

User Recommendations

We generally recommend including Geac in a long list of an enterprise application selection to mid-market and low end tier 1 companies (with $100M-$1B in revenue), based on a very deep understanding of customers' needs within the following industries: Library Systems; Construction Systems; Property Management Systems; Hospitality Systems; Public Safety Systems; Publishing Systems; Manufacturing & Distribution Systems; Real Estate Systems; Cash & Securities Reconciliation Solutions. Other industries might also benefit from evaluating the above mentioned Geac point solution, bearing in mind inevitable integration issues with other systems in place.

 
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