idu Software (Pty) Ltd was founded in 1998 by Kevin Phillips, James Smith and Wayne Claasen with the intention of offering ERP consulting services. With degrees and diplomas in Commerce, Accounting, Financial Information Systems and IT specialising in commercial software development between them, they were perfectly positioned when opportunity knocked.
“One of our first clients asked us to develop a custom budgeting solution that interfaced directly with their underlying financial system and was also user friendly for non-financial staff,” says Kevin Phillips, founder, owner and CEO of idu. “We realised there were few dedicated budgeting tools available, and even fewer that were easy for staff outside the finance department to use. The solution we developed back then remains our core product offering today.”
idu Software grew to deliver a user friendly interface to budgeting and reporting around all standard Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and financial systems. Their core product idu-Concept has been designed to streamline management interaction with financial systems. Typical ERP systems are designed with accountants in mind and are generally not user-friendly for the non financial user. idu-Concept addresses this, establishing a platform of ownership and empowerment that leads to vast improvement in the effective management control in any business.
“idu-Concept is the most widely deployed dedicated budgeting solution in South Africa and has over 25 000 users across 400 sites,” says Wayne Claasen, owner and director at idu. “The product has been implemented throughout Africa and globally in North America, the UK and Australasia. Our customers range from medium to large size corporates across all industries and sectors and include Old Mutual, Discovery, Palabora Mining Company, Edward Nathan Sonnenberg, 24.com, Coronation, South Australian Government, UNISA and Ackermans, to name only a few.”
idu clients have openly acknowledged that idu significantly reduces budget, forecasting and reporting turnaround times; requires little ongoing consulting support; and outperforms its competitors in both deployment time and price.
idu has a strong female leadership presence with Directors Margie Whitten and Jackie Agnew who are based in Durban. Whitten, who has been part of the idu Software team since 2000, holds an IMM qualification and has many years of management experience. She is responsible for the idu footprint in the KZN region and the ever expanding footprint into Africa. Agnew’s previous accounting and lecturing experience combined with her B-Comm qualification has added great value to idu. The forward thinking of Jackie and Margie creates a dynamic duo that provides the client base with solutions to some unique requirements.
idu Software has several strong partnerships in the industry. They are a Microsoft Gold Partner and since 2005 have regularly been finalists for the Microsoft Awards in Data Management Solutions, Customer Development Solutions, ISV/Software Solutions, Business Intelligence and Customer Experience. Idu-Concept has also been Microsoft platform tested on various SQL and Windows releases, including the most recent.
“idu’s extensive knowledge and experience in the financial budgeting environment, together with their Microsoft Partner status, provides a unique, fully integrated, dedicated budgeting application delivered on a Microsoft platform,” elaborates James Smith, founder, owner, director and IT and tech guru at idu Software.
“idu-Concept is not only the budgeting and forecasting tool of choice for companies using Microsoft Dynamics or SoftlineAccpac ERP solutions,” continues Smith. “It is also preferred by various clients spanning over 40 different ERP solutions and vendors including SAP, Oracle, JDEdwards and Syspro.”
“From a product perspective our growth has also been natural progression with no acquisitions of third party products or integration into idu-Concept,” says Smith. “We have continued as we began - new product development is typically the result of talking to clients and identifying a requirement or functionality that would meet not only their needs, but also add value to the client base at large.”
“Our company is owner-managed and proudly South African,” says Phillips. “We are committed to black economic empowerment (BEE) including employment equity, skills development and uplifting in our local community and are a certified BEE Level 5 Contributor.”
Moving from strength to strength, idu are passionate about their business and their industry. Combining their skills has created a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
“Although our reach is steadily increasing, we remain a small business in terms of staff and the way in which we maintain close personal contact with our clients,” says Phillips. “Maintaining focus and always listening to what your clients need is the secret to success.”
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