Recruiting an Australian partner could be a sign that Aucklander David Inggs’ punt on the software factory concept is a winning one.
Inggs is managing director of Vula Software, and is providing Vula DEVServer, aimed at more quickly developing web-based .Net applications by automating software development tasks.
Research on software factories is growing, with supporters advocating a change in the approach to development from protective craftsmanship to open industrialisation. Vula is an African word for open.
“Development companies can produce unique solutions for customers really quickly. That’s the goal – we’re talking three- to five-times the speed to build an application,” says Inggs.
He says his main challenge is to find out the best way to approach software companies with his product and it was word of mouth that landed him the Australian deal.
A former employee had gone to vertical market development specialist AbSoft and suggested Inggs present his product there. As a result, AbSoft signed up for a three year DEVServer licence. Firms can also license on a per-project basis.
The Australian visit also netted an agreement with Vodafone in Brisbane to trial Vula’s offerings to build software for the mobile data market. The enterprise mobility server is the next product Vula is developing.
In New Zealand, Vula shares its offices with BKA, a web development company that works on and supports Vula’s products. Along with email marketing firm Lasso, it is a group of three companies Inggs is involved in.
Having left university midway through a computer sciences qualification to work, he is now combining his new ventures with a post-graduate business diploma. He got out of the services arena after hating the low margins earned for the amount and length of work, and started Vula 18 months ago.
With a base of 80 implementations, its focus is on directly contacting software development houses in Australia and, in the long-term, breaking into the UK and US markets.
Inggs says it’s hard to say if there are competing offerings. There are a lot of code generation systems and repeat application development systems, but he hasn’t seen anything else that integrates those technologies.
Along with BKA and Ogilvy Interactive, three large corporates are “in the sales pipeline” here, Inggs says. End customers range from Bendon and Fletcher Aluminium to Barfoot and Thompson.