Major hardware business, Mica Investments, which late last year bought itself out from listed Super Group, is planning to standardise on the same version of point of sale software from UltiSales Retail Software, part of the JSE listed UCS Group Ltd, SA’s leading retail software company.

Already 60 of the 142 Mica outlets are using UltiSales software – but they are using different versions, says Greg Ryder, IT manager from Mica’s Support Centre.
“Mica is a long time user of UltiSales software – some of our members are still using the company’s DOS-based version, which has been on the market, in various forms, for more than 20 years. But from a Support Centre point of view we want as many stores as possible to migrate to the same version so that we can more easily share data at Support Centre level, and make smarter and more scientific business decisions.”
In line with Mica’s long term view of having a standard Ultisales system, the group will also be pilot-testing the company’s latest version of its software, its recently unveiled Version 5 – a fully-fledged Windows version, with a host of new features for users.
Ryder says the company would commence with a pilot site and “we will spend the next few months using this as a showpiece so that our current UltiSales users – and other franchise outlets – will be able to get a good feel for the software.
“In the past our members were not given sufficient information and support, but we have now made it a contractual obligation to use UltiSales for any new Mica store in the Mica Group.”
Clifford Buchler, MD of Mica Investments, believes it makes sense to standardise on UltiSales software “as they understand our business model and part of their new planned software functionality – within their software – fits in with our future strategic path, which is driving towards maximum visibility, for all our members and Support Centre.”
Stephen Mallaby, MD of 20-year-old UltiSales Retail Software, says the company plans to market its latest version, Version 5, in the UK via another UCS Group subsidiary.
The company – one of the oldest retail software companies in the country – has almost 5000 users in SA and neighboring countries, with  many still using the company’s earlier Text/DOS-based versions, introduced in the 1980s.
Says Mallaby: “We introduced UltiSales Version 5, our first fully fledged Windows/SQL product, to our VAR channel in July last year, and are now starting to drive sales. Migration from older versions to the new one will be a gradual process as many of our clients are still happy with our earlier versions  – which are also in the process of being upgraded.”