System Software Associates Inc reported sparkling results in Chicago at the end of last month (CI No 1,317), and earlier this week it was SSA Europe’s turn to bask in the limelight and crow about its 25% contribution to the $94.5m turnover. Terry Osborne, general manager of SSA Europe, was delighted with the growth, up […]
System Software Associates Inc reported sparkling results in Chicago at the end of last month (CI No 1,317), and earlier this week it was SSA Europe’s turn to bask in the limelight and crow about its 25% contribution to the $94.5m turnover. Terry Osborne, general manager of SSA Europe, was delighted with the growth, up from $61.5m in 1988, and the $4.9m increase in profits to $11.2m. Earnings per share also rose by 76% to $1.41, and Osborne says that profit has consistently outstripped growth in revenues since the company was es-tablished in 1981. However, SSA Europe which was set up two years ago and is the fastest growing and largest subsidiary outwith the US, doesn’t have any plans to go for a listing on the UK Stock Exchange. With over 4,000 installations using 30,000 Business Planning and Control System products, SSA claims to be the largest independent supplier of IBM midrange application software in the world, specifically for the AS/400 range. The company has just added a new product to its AS/400 portfolio, and Osborne drafted in his old chum Jose Dotti, IBM Europe’s Group Director for Industrial Systems, to endorse AS/SET, the AS/400 Software Engineering Technology tool, and to chat about IBM’s commitment to Computer Integrated Manufacturing in the AS/400 environment. IBM says it has installed 30,000 AS/400 machines to date, and is aiming at 100,000 per annum within the next five years. That remains to be seen, but one obvious obstacle is the lack of applications for the system, so that anything SSA can produce won’t go unnoticed or unappreciated. AS/SET is a menu-driven tool that generates RPG/400 or the faster AS/SET code for batch and on-line programs using data modelling and rapid application development techniques. It is Systems Application Architecture Common User Access-compliant, and the repository enables the re-use of design specifications for new applications. SSA says that rapid application development facility increases programmer productivity by applying five techniques – specification encoding routines, common programming tasks, object oriented programming, applications specifications cloning, and baseline applications templates. SSA is offering a 20% discount to existing BPCS clients if they purchase AS/SET befor April 30. Otherwise it costs between UKP15,000 and UKP45,000, depending on the size of the AS/400 and number of users. Three veterans of the computer industry, Roger Miller, Ken Trueman and Paul Methven, have established a new funding and management company called Software Assets Ltd, which is currently operating out of the offices of its first investment beneficiary, in Bristol. The three men spent several years with RTZ Computer Services Ltd, and subsequently set up the UK arm of McCormack & Dodge. Miller was managing director of RTZ Computer Services prior to establishing and heading the UK subsidiary of the Cortex Corp in 1984. He says that Software Assets will invest and assume a management role in software houses that lack the wherewithal to expand. Software Assets has access to financing via the Birmingham-based venture capital firm, Summit Equity Ventures, which specialises in institutional funding, and Miller says they are looking to acquire or invest in two companies per year. Software Assets will assume a management role for a minimum of two years, and continue to invest for a further three. The Bristol company that represents the first shareholding is in Metasa Ltd, a supplier of clinical databases, where Miller is acting as chairman, and Trueman as sales director. Metasa says that the investment, an undisclosed sum in the hundreds of thousands of pounds, will enable it to look at overseas markets, which were previously beyond its resources. Software Assets is currently looking at a further four target software companies, and Miller says that health care and software tools are areas of particular interest.