Find answers to your burning questions!
Here are the answers to our most frequently asked questions to help you understand us that little bit better. However, some of these answers may vary from region to region, so if you do have a question, get in touch and we'll happily fill you in.
Is Tharstern software only for the print industry?
Broadly, yes. But we have companies who label themselves as being in the mailing, communication and fulfillment industries, to name a few.
Is Tharstern a UK company?
Our headquarters are based in Colne, Lancashire, in the UK. However, we also have a sister company, Tharstern USA who have headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia and we have distributors of our software in Australia and New Zealand.
Where did the name Tharstern come from?
This is actually a funny story. There is no Mr Tharstern, it’s not the name of anybody or anything, it’s not an abbreviation or two words joined together. It was actually from an off the shelf company package which our founding owner, Keith Harrison, chose. He was an accountant and was notoriously tight. He bought an off the shelf package that already had a name which most people decide to change. However, Keith refused to pay the small fee to change the name and so Tharstern it was. 38 years later it’s a bit late to change it, but we wouldn’t want to anyway! We’ve all grown to love it.
How often is a new version of Tharstern available? Do I have to upgrade it?
We operate to an agile development methodology and work in timeboxes which generally last a month. At the end of each timebox, we release an update to the software with all the development that has taken place in that past timebox. Major versions of the software where there are significant changes to either functionality or appearance only happen every year or two.
Yes, you do have to upgrade it. Upgrades aren’t automatic, and this is a decision that is made based on the fact that most of our customers don’t want their software upgrading automatically, they want to request when it happens at a time that’s convenient to them, so that’s the approach we take. We’re proactive in asking people to upgrade and we will set an appointment at a date and time that is convenient for that particular customer and then upgrade it. Updates for new builds don’t take long to update at all, but it may take longer to upgrade to a major new version if you want/require some training. But that is by the choice of the customer.
Does Tharstern come in other languages?
No, just English.
How is Tharstern licensed?
Our customers pay an annual software license fee, so they can continue to use the software. This is based on the number of users and modules that you have and we use scale pricing on the number of users so that the more you buy, the cheaper they are. Integration links e.g. to accounts packages or web-to-print applications are a single fee and not tied to the number of users of your system.
Do I have to buy a minimum amount of licenses?
Is Tharstern Software as a Service?
On the whole, Tharstern is not Software as a Service and is charged annually. But there are certain add-ons that use third party technology that are billed as a SaaS e.g. our Business Intelligence module (which uses Qlik) and the Tharstern app.
How much does Tharstern cost?
For a basic 5 user Tharstern system with the core modules, it starts at around £12,000/$16,000 USD/$22,000 AUD. But, some of our large customers have systems that cost hundreds of thousands based on a large number of users and all the bells and whistles that have also been added.
How long does Tharstern take to set-up?
Every company has different resources, skills and culture, and so we always adapt our approach to what best suits that particular company. To do this, it means that set-up can take anything from 3 months to a year. Some really large projects have taken longer - it's all about what's right for the customer.
Do I own the software once I’ve installed it?
No, you have to pay an annual licence fee to continue your use of the software. But the data within it is yours and you own that. You are free to take that out whenever you want it and we don’t have access to it unless granted by the customer.
Is Tharstern developed in the UK?
Yes, we have a team of developers at our UK headquarters in Colne. We also have a team of remote developers who we use from time to time.
Isn’t Tharstern just for litho printers?
No, one of our USPs is that we support all the major disciplines of print within the same software system, which is great for our customers because they can have different types of machines and still use the one system. If they want to diversify in the future, we’ve got them covered.
Can Tharstern help small print companies?
Yes absolutely! We have many small print customers who have chosen Tharstern because they know they won’t have to migrate to a different MIS when they grow.
Which countries do you sell Tharstern in?
We sell Tharstern in a number of different countries including the UK and Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa but we’re happy to speak to companies in other countries provided that they are comfortable with the software only being available in English.
Can I use Tharstern on a Mac?
It is possible to access Tharstern on a mac through applications such as Parallels software which creates a windows environment on a mac and many of our customers use this method.
Can I use Tharstern on my smartphone or tablet?
Yes, you can use certain functions of the MIS via the Tharstern app on an iPhone or an iPad. Our Job Tracking module is browser based and also runs on a tablet device.
Are your employees/consultants from a print background?
All of our Consultants, Pre-sales Consultants and Account Managers are from a print background. The remainder are mainly from a technical background and then we have lots of support staff too. You can check out our meet the team page to find out more about our staff as they discuss their role at Tharstern and their previous experience in the industry!