Tharstern demos first look at new Cloud product

New system includes employee engagement tool
New system includes employee engagement tool

Tharstern has revealed further details of its new cloud-based MIS, with an online demo attended by a worldwide audience of customers and potential customers.

Introducing the Tharstern Cloud briefing, CEO Keith McMurtrie recalled Tharstern’s origins, “it literally started in Keith Harrison’s coal shed”, and the evolution of its product from a simple Dos-based system into a sophisticated MIS using successive technology platforms.

“2021 marks the next true watershed moment for Tharstern,” he said. 

McMurtrie said the business had invested £1.8m so far in developing Tharstern Cloud. 

“Under the hood it’s a top quality application using the latest development methods, tools, technologies and so on… it’s a very cool product.”

The first release is targeted at label printers, and a raft of label specialists from the UK and further afield attended the briefing. 

However, the heart of the system is an agnostic “product engine” that can be taught about different types of product, with further iterations planned for flexible packaging, commercial printing and large-format. 

McMurtrie said the firm wanted to help PSPs become “bionic”.

“I’ve been working with printing companies for over 30 years now. What has been increasingly apparent is that the most successful companies we work with all have one thing in common, they invest in both their technology and their people, they are the bionic businesses,” he stated.

“We want to help them all be bionic, by improving and evolving the technology they use, and to help them engage with their people too.”

Tharstern Cloud involves an intuitive user interface, and integrates with other popular tools such as Slack and Zapier. 

It includes visual prompts, such as the Quote Kanban where a job could appear with a red flag due to an issue such as material availability.

The system also measures employee engagement on a daily basis, and incorporates the Tharstern Academy training tool and a virtual noticeboard.

“We launched today with an unrivalled connectivity to an innovative estimating tool for label converters, but over the coming year we will expand our solution into the remaining areas of the workflow – into orders, production and shipping and much much more,” McMurtrie said. 

He said that the ordering, production and shipping modules were slated to be completed “towards the end of this year, early next year”.

“And in the coming months and years after that, we will start to take advantage of the sector-neutral approach we have taken with our platform.”

Tharstern is looking for early adopters and beta sites to take on the product from September. 

Regarding pricing, sales director Lee Ward said: “Today the preferred way of software licensing is monthly subscriptions of SaaS. We recently launched new pricing for our desktop product in line with this model. 

“The Cloud product will be priced the same as this model, with the added benefit of free read-only licences.”

The firm also emphasised that a separate development team was ringfenced for its core desktop product, and it was committed to expanding its functionality and continued development for the foreseeable future, with the expectation that at some point in time the Cloud option would reach a level of maturity whereby it overtook it.