Australian Dart pierces the UK systems market

HUSBAND and wife team Geoff and Jane Morris have acquired the UK and European rights to develop and sell the ALS practice management system through Dart Legal Systems.

For the past year Dart had been working with the system's Australian proprietors to adapt the software for UK use. But communications problems have led to delays, says Geoff Morris, Dart director of sales.

He adds: "The restriction of having to describe these changes over Compuserve links to Sydney, and then fighting for priority in a resource queue has meant we have not been able to respond to our users' needs."

Dart director of operations Jane Morris says: "We now have these controls and will rise or fall on the strength of our own performance."

There are 10 legal users of the system in Australia, he says, but already Dart has installed two UK systems, the most recent being a u150,000 front and back office integrated system at Bridport-based Nantes & Wilde.

Dart has established links with Reflex Data Systems, a Yorkshire-based software developer which uses the System Builder development system used in the ALS system. Reflex managing director Trevor Robinson says: "Our experience is in development based on 4GL tools for ALS and so Dart dovetails in well."

For maintenance and support, Dart has formed a partnership with Wang. Its marketing manager, Steve Durrant, says Wang has over 160 trained engineers enabling it to provide the cover needed quickly.

Morris believes the power of the Dart system means it could be suitable for large installations, but the company is concentrating on small and medium sized sites initially. He sees its strengths in the "fee book" approach, logging and costing activities as they occur.

The system integrates with other packages and Dart is working with Microsoft. There will be a Windows-NT release for installation later this year and a graphical user interface is planned for launch at the Barbican exhibition in June.