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ERP for SMBs

Sep 29, 20032 mins
ERP SystemsVoIP

If you've outgrown your accounting software, look to iCode.

If you’ve outgrown your accounting software, look to iCode

iCode knows you’re in for pain as you outgrow your accounting software (almost always Quicken, QuickBooks or PeachTree). That’s why the start-up is targeting firms with five to 100 employees with its new Everest Standard Edition and Everest Advanced Edition software packages.

More than just accounting, Everest is a “mini-ERP” package, including customer management, e-commerce, sales force automation and point-of-sale functions. (See an earlier column on how Everest helped Animalmania.). iCode invited me to its product launch earlier this month, and here’s what I learned.

The three founders, Bijal Mehta, Sanjay Shah and Ali Jani met as students at Virginia Tech and in 1987 formed the white-box integrator firm Accel. Growing and struggling with limited accounting options drove them to sell Accel and start iCode in 1994. They are proudest of two accomplishments: providing the first mini-ERP product for small businesses and leveraging the cost advantage of 280 employees in Bangalore, India. There are 60 employees in the U.S. and 22 translators in India developing versions of iCode in seven languages.

Running the business cheaply from India has allowed iCode to develop the first new accounting package to hit the market in seven years, and offer it for $1,500 (basic) and $2,500 (advanced) per user.

While that might sound steep, iCode’s is the only midrange option, says Jacqueline Hoyte, who works for reseller Integrated Data Technologies. “The next step up from PeachTree software, which costs a few hundred dollars per user, is MAS 90 software, which costs around $150,000.” 

Hoyte  — whom I met at the event — also says her customers find the mainframe look-and-feel of MAS 90 jarring after Windows PC software, and appreciates that iCode embraces Windows. So far, IDT has sold one installation and Hoyte says several more deals are in the works.

I also met a prospective customer — an online retailer of rugs. With 25 employees, the company generates about $12 million in revenue. It built its own Web site and would plug online orders into iCode rather than using the company to generate the Web pages. The retailer worries that his business is already near the top of iCode’s capacity for inventory and transaction volumes. But if the firm buys iCode, I’ll report its experiences here.