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Eye On Exports For Innovative Software

New printing and graphic arts industry software being developed in Auckland is likely to have significant export earnings in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Prism Software Ltd is developing a more flexible and unique extension for its flagship product that will better manage the storage, distribution and replenishment of all printed matter for printing industry customers.

The software company's systems team leader, Philip Quirke, says the development of the Prism WIN Distribution and Job Manufacturing System is leading edge in its field and is expected to be in keen demand locally and overseas, especially in Australia and the UK.

"Support from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology has allowed us to employ Bing Chen to undertake the ground-breaking project," Mr Quirke says.

Mr Chen, who is working towards a masters degree in computer science at the University of Auckland, undertook the project after Prism successfully applied for assistance through the Foundation's Technology for Industry Fellowship scheme.

Mr Chen's academic supervisor, John Hamer, of the University of Auckland's department of computer science, says printers have been increasingly demanding that firms like Prism customise software solutions to meet their changing requirements.

"It is no longer adequate for software to offer standardised best-practice solutions - companies want to incorporate their own business procedures and to change these dynamically," Dr Hamer says.

"Companies also want to be able to make these changes without reference to their software supplier. Bing has been working on developing a technology to provide new levels of flexibility to Prism WIN."

One of the challenges has been to open up the software in a controlled manner, while ensuring system security is preserved.

"While dynamic software is not a new concept, the project has led to a much better understanding of the issues that arise when it is applied to commercial business software," Dr Hamer says.

Mr Chen's research work is due to be completed next January. Prism plans to start offering the new software in 2001. The company has grown from 25 staff to more than 100 employees in four years thanks largely to significant export success in niche markets.

-ends-

Contact: * Philip Quirke, Prism Software Ltd, Ph: (09) 358-4441, email: philip.quirke@prism-nz.com * Bing Chen, Computer Science Department, University of Auckland, Ph: (09) 09-356-3789, X748. * Nigel Metge, Technology New Zealand at the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (Auckland Office), (09) 912-6730, or 021 454-095. Website: www.technz.co.nz

Prepared on behalf of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology by ID Communications. Contact: Ian Carson (04) 477-2525. Email: ian@idcomm.co.nz


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