Columbus Technologies, a local developer and marketer of systems management software, has announced a free exchange of software licences to customers migrating from a competitive product to the Columbus platform.

Customers who take up this offer will pay no licence fees for the duration of their existing contract while gaining the benefits of Columbus's management technologies.
Ricus Ellis, founder and director of Columbus Technologies, says: "Management systems take a long time to install and customise to a company's specific needs. IT decision-makers are therefore loath to switch from one product to another without very good reasons.
"The benefits obtained from the Columbus product range provide more than enough reasons to change. However, the question of the expense involved in migrating from one platform to a better one still remains a serious issue for businesses. In today's economic environment, an IT manager can not go to the board and ask for more money to implement a new solution when one that was supposed to do a good job is already installed."
The company has therefore made an open offer to the market in which it will provide Columbus products free of charge to match the functionality of competing products customers already have installed. This will allow customers who realise they need more than their current management systems can offer to experience the superior desktop lifecycle management capabilities of Columbus without having to break the bank.
In other words, Columbus will allow companies to skip the additional capital expenditure normally necessary to migrate to a new management platform. As with any enterprise software purchase, however, customers will have to acquire a maintenance contract from one of Columbus's South African partners. This will simply be a swap between the service costs of the old product and the new one, and will therefore not place an additional financial burden on the company.
"Columbus Technologies covers the ambit of desktop management, from hardware to software, and it can even control the communications priorities of companies," adds Ellis. "And while it offers its services in standalone components, they are all part of an integrated management solution that controls the lifecycle of IT systems from purchase to disposal."
South African companies are at an advantage when it comes to desktop management as Columbus Technologies is able to customise the software to each customer's requirements if necessary. No other internationally respected product has such a powerful local presence, as well as a commitment to servicing companies in South Africa. If needed, Columbus will even develop new features and functions for customers.
"Our swop-out offer will quickly demonstrate the capability of Columbus Technologies to customers," says Ellis. "We are sure that once a customer has implemented one Columbus module they will realise the value on offer and will install other components over time."