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.
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.
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.