Pindar Systems has its roots in the world of print publishing software, where it provided software extensions and integration for applications such as Quark Xpress. But since being spun out from its parent printing company, GA Pindar & Sons, in February 2001, Pindar Systems has begun to target the market for Internet-based ecommerce software.
Although the IT world has prophesised the death of print media for decades, Pindar Systems CEO Paul O'Sullivan believes that it is the company's foundations in print that give it a competitive advantage over its purely Internet-based sell-side technology rivals such as Click Commerce, Ironside Technologies, and HAHT Commerce.
Pindar's customers – which include stationary supplier Office Depot of the US and business-to-business (B2B) maintenance, repair and operations equipment supplier WW Grainger – rely on print catalogues for 85% of their sales revenues on average, says O'Sullivan, while just 18% of sales are via the Internet. It is the challenge of combining these separate print and online mediums that Pindar hopes to solve with its new catalogue management software (CMS).
Pindar's web-based CMS, like that of fellow UK company Zygon, enables the unified management and creation of product catalogues that can be incorporated into a web site, integrated with commerce applications through XML, or professionally printed in Quark format. The system can also be used as the basis of B2B collaboration, where suppliers have online access to a retailer's catalogues so that they can update their own product information online.
The company is well funded, having raised a total of $11.5 million (€13.13m) in two rounds of funding. Investors include former parent, The Pindar Group, and Granville Baird Capital Partners.
This is, however, a tough market. Other suppliers of catalogue management products have found it difficult to close sales and, in the current economic climate, few companies are embarking on big ticket web projects. Pindar also needs to build up partnerships with the vendors of enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and e-procurement applications. Such alliances are likely to prove crucial to its success.