One of my retail customers from Tottenham Court Road, Euro-Calc, came to me with an interesting project. An Isle of Man operation had developed a small-business accounting software system based upon experience of running systems in Africa with groundnut schemes. For that market it had to be simple and accurate, they had knocked all the ‘edges’ off it there.
They had designed a mini-computer hardware and software system, similar in approach to TI’s 99/7 objectives. It was manufactured for them by Plessey Microsystems. It was competitively priced, for its time, at £7,995 exc VAT. It offered simple routines to integrate Cash, Sales, Purchase and Nominal ledgers, it would produce an aged Debtors and Creditors report, and provided a suite of management reports. It could be updated to run Payroll and Stock Control routines.
|ASIDE: I am confident it was not in any way a Euroc invention, but around this time the notion evolved that information for information’s sake was pointless, it needed to be qualified. This suggested that information provided by computers was only valuable if it was not available through simpler manual processes, was produced in a timely manner, and was used to prompt actions that weren’t previously possible – a big ask.|
Part-time I headed up a small team to sell this in to small businesses. We sold a few but the market was moving far too fast in this sector, mini-computer prices were soon superceded by compact micro-computers with greater capability and lower prices.