We talk to Mamut's UK country manager Bryan Richter

On the cutting edge

Accounting software might not be the most glamorous part of the IT industry, but it is vital to the health of a company – especially in times when watching the pennies is a crucial part of day-to-day business.

Mamut’s roots are very much in the Windows platform, but following the acquisition of Australian firm MYOB’s UK business in 2008, it has become increasingly involved in the Mac market.

Working through UK distribution partner Gem, the firm’s strategy this year will be to continue to expand in the PC space with the homegrown Mamut software, and in the Mac market through the AccountEdge range.

Through these two fronts, the firm will be looking to put pressure on market leader Sage for the top spot in the UK. “MYOB had been very successful with the Mac version of its product, which accounted for 25 to 30 per cent of its customer base,” said Mamut UK country manager Bryan Richter. “It’s been an interesting challenge for us, since we were primarily a Windows vendor and then inherited a significant Mac customer base. MYOB had a close relationship with a US-based Mac product development specialist called Acclivity, and we decided to continue that relationship. The new AccountEdge product offers former MYOB users a very natural upgrade path that will be familiar to them in terms of look and feel, but with the added benefit of additional services and improved functionality like business intelligence.”

Mamut also stepped into the breach towards the end of last year, when Microsoft announced that it was no longer going to continue with its Office Accounting software and asked Mamut to support the existing community using it in the UK.

“That was a big deal for us. Microsoft said it wasn’t a market it wanted to continue in, but it had to trust a partner to carry on support for the product and offer an upgrade path for the customers. We felt that was a great endorsement by Microsoft to trust us with that customer community,” adds Richter.

According to Richter, with the beginning of the new financial year this month, the company is seeing a lot of customers on both Mac and PC platforms migrating because they need the new tables. “In parallel with the migrations, we’re of course continuing to sell Mamut in its own right. A key focus for us right now is Mamut One, which we’ll promote through direct and indirect sales. There’s a lot of excitement in the channel for hosted software, particularly hybrid software plus service products like Mamut One, because they offer resellers the opportunity to move into value added services,” Richter notes.

“Right now we are probably second or third in the market. Sage is the largest accounting software in the UK but many SMBs – although they may not like Sage’s software – don’t realise there is a viable alternative. We see ourselves as the best alternative available because of our focus and dedication to the market,” he adds. “Our goal is very much to establish ourselves as a firm number two and then give a serious challenge to Sage. To do that, we need to stay focused on our customers, focused on our product. Our priority is to provide the best software for the UK’s small businesses at a price they can afford.”

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