UCS Software Manufacturing (UCSSM), the retail software factory within the UCS Group, has targeted a number of potential clients in the US as part of its plan to roll out its assemble-to-order (A2O) retail-focused software solution.
Grant Wellbeloved, UCSSM’s newly-appointed CEO, says the company is also in the process of establishing offices in the US.
However, he stresses that the South African market remains “extremely important” for the company.
Commenting on the offshore sales drive, Wellbeloved says: “Our preferred route to market is via selected partners. In other words, services businesses that derive income from long relationships with customers through the delivery of software development, supported by a range of their horizontal services.
"Our plan, therefore, has been to establish an office in the US to provide these businesses with optimal partner support and pre-sales support. Our US office was officially opened on 1 July 2009.
“UCSMM and its partners will target retailers who are in the market for the replacement of in-store solutions, or for automation of specific process requirements (“whitespacing”) within the store – and who are finding themselves in the uncomfortable space between packaged product functionality and its limitations, large-scale customisations or the ‘thin end of the wedge’ of an in-store solution requirement from a significant ERP vendor.”
In the US, retailers turning over less than $600-million per annum through a footprint of a few hundred stores are typically buying and integrating packages and leveraging software as a service (SaaS) to fill the gaps, says Wellbeloved. As their business starts to push boundaries, their needs become more complex. They require increasing customisation, more agility and better leverage of technology to outwit competition," Wellbeloved adds.
“Our approach to software delivery is what sees us gaining an edge, from a technical and functional point of view. We abstract business requirements and processes as far as we can from the technology upon which an application is built and deployed. We use modeling and retail domain specific code generation techniques to assemble our solutions, on a made-to-order basis. We pride ourselves on being able to provide rich documentation; our requirements specifications, both functional and technical, have been applauded by auditing firms."
UCS Group is currently a major player in the retail software market in South Africa, boasting more then 60% of the leading retailers as clients.
However, Wellbeloved says there are at least 10 to 15 local retailers – who could be considered Tier One or Tier Two retailers in the US – who would be “ideal candidates” for its software solutions.
“So certainly, while we are eyeing offshore markets, the local market is still extremely bullish for us,” he says.