Enable at the ECM Show: The Future of UK Business is

Enable at the ECM Show: The Future of UK Business is Written on a Sheet of A4

Build It BetterSeptember 26, 2003


Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Unnecessarily complex software drives directors nuts and slows down business. Enable sets out to re-write the DNA of business software—and succeeds.

With IT solutions getting ever more complicated and sophisticated, Enable believes the way forward is "treeware"—a single sheet of A4 instructions for its software.

Andrew Butt, Managing Director of Enable, believes an average UK company would turn round decisions and deals many times faster if it installed software that the directors actually understood. And the answer could be written on that single sheet of A4.

Hope or belief? Well, fact, actually. Enable is used by Sainsbury’s, Goldman Sachs, HarperCollins and Delphi Automotive amongst others, and one of the world’s greatest IT companies, Sage Software.

"It’s a running joke across business—the boss who can’t make his computer do what he wants it to. But it stops being a joke when it prevents the company running efficiently in a business environment when ’right now’ is the standard," said Andrew Butt of Stratford-upon-Avon-based Enable.

"Hard-nosed business people waste no time: they take ’route one’—the term from hockey meaning the most direct route to goal—and anything that delays or distracts infuriates them, so they change the way they run their business lives to avoid obstruction.

"They don’t want to hear that a three hour training course ’will be an investment’, they want to know which three buttons to hit to get or deliver a piece of information right this second. That’s what we’ve created.

"In fact, we’ve hit the nail so squarely on the head that while we’ve sold more than £1 million worth of the software—we’ve had to cancel the training course because there are no takers. Nobody needs it. The instructions are on a single sheet of A4, and it takes ten minutes to get up and running.

"Signs of simplification are everywhere. You turn the key in a car and a massive number of things happen at once—the driver is not aware of 99% of them: computers booting, fuel being pressurised, ignition optimized for the ambient temperature, even airbag sensors establishing how many passengers there are. Do you want to know this, or need to know this?

"You don’t want to go through a pre-flight-style check, or be told by the car that you’re an idiot because systems were not switched on in the correct sequence. No, you want to turn the key and drive off.

"That’s the way software can be, and the way business can operate."

Editor’s notes:

Enterprise Content Management 2003 is an event dedicated to helping organizations lower the costs of content management, document management, websites management and intranets and extranets while releasing the knowledge they contain. The event will demonstrate how this is going to work across the enterprise, how to integrate it with the major legacy applications, and support the users, while delivering maximum market impact and ensuring that all communications are consistent. The event is build around free seminars and case studies across four streams—Web Content Management, Document, Knowledge and Information Management, October 7 to 9, 2003.

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Enable at the ECM Show: The Future of UK Business is Written on a Sheet of A4


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