SoftCo launches Irish invasion

SoftCo launches Irish invasion

By Paul Montgomery

Perhaps it is something in the ale, but Ireland has not traditionally been a breeding ground for world-class software. A tiny developer called SoftCo has managed to gain two thirds of the Irish document management market, and it is trying to buck this trend by exporting its solutions to the Asia-Pacific region.

SoftCo's main document management software, called Pcdoc, is an integrated set of document capture, archival and retrieval products, managing the process from paper right through to COLD archives. Pcdoc has been installed in many of Ireland's top companies, like telecommunications carrier Eircom and the Bank of Ireland.

The Pcdoc suite manages information from paper right through to COLD archives.

Conor Heffernan, business development manager for the new Sydney office of SoftCo Australia, said Pcdoc has also become popular with freight and transport companies. The European subsidiaries of DHL, FedEx and UPS are all customers of SoftCo.

Pcdoc contains modules for data capture, document management, workflow, computer output to laser disc and Web publishing. An extra module called SoftCo Fax can route fax streams to Web browsers, email systems or business applications.


The company has also just released a suite of applications for e-businesses called eBA, based on the Extensible Markup Language (XML).

"We're building a more transactional workflow engine, because business-to-business e-commerce is more about transactions than the traditional user-based workflow," said Mr Heffernan.

eBA manages both electronic- and paper-based transactions between an organisation and its external environment, including procurement, order processing, product catalogues and B2B marketplaces, according to the company.

The eBA suite is made up of several modules. eBuyer is a solution for electronic procurement which streamlines business processes like order selection, purchase requisition, purchase order and approvals. ePayer is an integrated payables application for both electronic and paper versions of financial processes. eSupplier helps to deploy business-to-business trading communities, particularly suited for industry-specific Web portals. Finally, the Marketplace module creates an environment where corporate buyers and sellers can participate in an interactive procurement environment, including functions to find the best price among a number of suppliers.

Mr Heffernan said SoftCo had entered into a joint venture with an Irish telecommunications carrier to build a business-to-business portal for hosting its applications, and the company would also look for Australian partners to serve the growing application service provider market.

"We would obviously like to look at everything below Telstra," he said.