IBM i Push Pays for Financials Specialist UNIT4 CODA
May 24, 2011 Alex Woodie
UNIT4 CODA made a big splash at the recent COMMON conference in Minneapolis. The developer of advanced financial software, which was one of only two pure application vendors at the show, used the venue to showcase its 25-year history supporting the IBM i platform, as well as its alliance with fellow Oracle-slayer, IBM.
CODA Financials may not be a household word in the IBM i world. It doesn’t present a picture or an idea in your mind the same way that “JD Edwards” (gold-standard ERP) or “Dr. Frank Soltis” (grandfather of the AS/400) do.
But the size and scope of the CODA Financials business on the IBM i platform may surprise you. Consider this: If CODA was a standalone entity, it would bring in $120 million in revenue per year. (But alas, CODA is but a fraction of the $576 million Dutch IT company, UNIT4).
Here’s another fun CODA fact: 30 to 40 percent of the entity’s revenue results from implementations on the IBM i platform. Simple math says this is almost a $50 million business for the peculiar Power Systems flavor.
That’s nothing to sneeze at. In fact, it’s something to shout about, which is exactly what UNIT4 CODA was doing in Minneapolis three weeks ago.
“Since the early 1980s, CODA Financials has always run natively on IBM platforms–initially AS/400 and now Power Platform with DB2,” stated UNIT4 CODA CEO Steve Pugh in a press release. “Power Systems users are assured that their businesses have the most flexible and adaptable financial accounting system.”
The Java-based CODA Financials package excels in complicated business environments, particularly those that require multi-lingual, multi-currency, or multi-subsidiary capabilities. The product is often touted as a best-of-breed package that combines functional areas of accounting, such as accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger, and budgeting, into a single product backed by a single database. The capability to customize a CODA Financials implementation is another benefit often touted by the developer.
CODA is gaining recognition within UNIT4, particularly when it wins a deal against Oracle, says Peter Witham, vice president of sales for UNIT4 CODA.
While at the COMMON show in Minneapolis, Witham related a recent customer win against Oracle at a hedge fund. After the proof of concept was completed, the hedge fund declared CODA Financials the hands down favorite against the vaunted Oracle financials package. “It proves we’re a true tier-one financial system,” Witham says.
Such stories also play well within IBM, which sees Oracle as perhaps its biggest competitor in the enterprise computing space. The combination of fast Power Systems hardware and CODA Financials software running on the IBM i operating system provides a formidable financials system that can scale to handle the largest Fortune 100 clients. And that gives both companies something to cheer about.
That UNIT4 CODA, which is based in the UK and has US offices in Manchester, New Hampshire, is renewing its commitment to IBM i should give platform backers something to cheer about. In a time when few application vendors are touting their capability to run on the IBM i server, UNIT4 CODA’s recent IBM i push in marketing, sales, and business development is commendable.
Witham admits that being the best financial package in this market doesn’t mean what it may have at one time. “We’re a bigger fish in a smaller pond,” he says. “It’s a niche for us on IBM i. On Windows, there are 20-plus financial packages. There’s not a lot of vendors flocking to the IBM i.” Just the same, he says the IBM i commitment is paying off.
By the way, the only other application vendor exhibiting at the recent COMMON show was Kronos. The rest of the software companies were tools and utilities vendors. The days of seeing the big enterprise application (ERP, SCM, WMS, etc.) vendors at COMMON are over.
For more information on UNIT4 CODA, visit the vendor’s website at www.unit4coda.com.