Softline buys intelligence firm

Johannesburg, 01 Dec 2011

Accounting software company Softline, a member of UK-based Sage Group, has bought Durban-based Alchemex for an undisclosed amount.

Alchemex provides business intelligence (BI) technology, and has partnered with Softline since 2007. Its product is integrated with Softline accounting and payroll applications, including Pastel, Accpac and VIP Payroll.

Softline CEO Ivan Epstein says it made sense to acquire the company because Alchemex's solutions have been deployed as an add-on to many of Sage's offerings, and there is a high level of integration.

Epstein adds that as the companies were “getting joined at the hip”, a large part of Sage's user base was being exposed, and it made sense to bring the solution in-house.

Alchemex provides solutions that allow companies to turn financial data into intelligence, as it creates reports that can be interpreted beyond the usual balance sheet figures, says Epstein. He adds the technology has already been integrated into Softline's local offerings, several of Sage's US packages, and will launch shortly in the UK.

The company was established in 2001, and provides flexible Excel-based BI software for small to medium enterprises.

“It bridges the gap between Excel spreadsheets and the data that lives in the business application, by providing flexible, customer-centric reporting,” says Softline and Sage Africa, Australia, Middle East and Asia CFO Rob Wilkie.

Wilkie adds the solution can be deployed on either the desktop or the Internet, which allows real-time access to data from anywhere in the world.

Epstein adds Alchemex is a home-grown technology that has gone global. “It's a genuine case of local going global.”

As the needs of smaller companies grow, Softline will increasingly seek to add on functionality to its solutions and grow the revenue per user, Epstein notes.