But Wait, There's More. . .
Better On-Line Solutions last week announced that a new company, BOSaNOVA, has been formed in Phoenix to be the master distributor of BOScom's network and connectivity products in North America. BOScom was formed last spring as a subsidiary of B.O.S., headquartered in Teradyon, Israel. B.O.S. says BOSaNOVA was founded by Martin Pladgeman, a long-time executive of the B.O.S. organization and, until recently, president of the Arizona division of another B.O.S. subsidiary, Portland, Oregon, based Pacific Information Systems. Pladgeman says that BOSaNOVA will be adding new products, such as thin clients and Ethernet terminals, to BOScom's line of remote twinax controllers and connectivity software. In other B.O.S. news, the company received a delisting notice from the NASDAQ stock market because its share price has stayed under $1 for too long. To combat the forced move to NASDAQ's National Market, company executives are planning an investor and analyst road show throughout Israel, the United States, and Europe to promote the company's plans, which include raising up to $10 million in equity financing for BOScom.
Business is good at Oakland, California, based Aldon Computer Group, provider of change management software for the iSeries and other platforms. The company, which is privately held, announced that December was the company's single best month ever for sales, with more than 60 customers, including Fiserv and Groupama Insurance, purchasing enterprise licenses. Exact revenues figures were not disclosed. Leading the way in December sales was Aldon Affiniti, the company's multiplatform change management system, says Aldon president Daniel Magid. "Aldon Affiniti has been part of a natural evolution in the process of managing our clients' software development lifecycle, helping to unify diverse platforms, including Windows, Unix, the iSeries, and the Web," he says. Also contributing to the super December sales was Affiniti eTEAM, Aldon's new Web-based incident tracking and collaboration tool, due to be announced shortly.
HTE, the Lake Mary, Florida, developer of OS/400 and Windows software for governments and law enforcement agencies, will be acquired by SunGard Data Systems, the two companies announced last week. HTE's software helps run more than 2,200 government offices, agencies, and utility companies throughout North America. The company, whose stock is publicly traded on the NASDAQ, recorded $65.8 million in revenues for fiscal year 2001, and $52.5 million through the first three quarters of fiscal year 2002, which ended December 31. According to the agreement, SunGard will pay HTE stockholders $7 per share for all outstanding shares of stock, a total value of $121 million, for the deal. SunGard, a $2 billion enterprise whose primary and most visible business is data continuity and disaster recovery services, will manage HTE as an operating unit within its Public Sector and Non-Profit Systems. Joseph Loughry, HTE's president and chief executive, will continue to lead the HTE business unit. The deal is expected to close this quarter. SunGard last year beat Hewlett-Packard in buying the disaster recovery business of computer lessor Comdisco.
Kronos continued to strengthen its direct-sales model by announcing a deal to acquire the customer relationships of its biggest U.S. distributor. The Chelmsford, Massachusetts, provider of time and attendance, payroll, and human resources software announced it will acquire the labor management business of Minneapolis-based Ban-Koe Systems, which has been a Kronos distributor in the Upper Midwest since it was founded in 1981, by the end of the first quarter. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to Ban-Koe's Web site, the company has 4,000 customers and annual revenues of $22 million. Ban-Koe's president, William Bangtson, says it came time to transition the company away from Kronos solutions and concentrate on "other directions." The company also offers point-of-sale systems, business applications, fire alarms, and network configuration services.
DataMirror made its "Simple HA for $60K" offering a permanent fixture last week. The Toronto, Ontario, provider of high availability and clustering solutions for OS/400 servers first announced its bundle of iCluster software, services, and training last August, following IBM's "Green Streak" deal, which cut in half the price of entry-level iSeries servers. And, like IBM, which made its "Green Streak" pricing more or less permanent with its big January 20 announcement, DataMirror will continue to offer "Simple HA for $60K" indefinitely. With "Simple HA for Under $60K," DataMirror offers organizations two licenses of its iCluster clustering software for OS/400, implementation, training, maintenance, and support--all for under $60,000. The deal had originally been scheduled to end on October 31, but DataMirror extended it through mid-January. DataMirror attributed much of its fourth-quarter sales activity to this promotion and to IBM's "Green Streak" price breaks on the iSeries.
Electronic forms software provider Create!form International last week announced the formation of a strategic partnership with Optika, a developer of enterprise content management systems, to resell and integrate their respective products. Optika specializes in building imaging, workflow, and collaboration extensions to ERP and CRM applications, such as those from J.D. Edwards and Oracle. The company, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, offers pre-integrated bundles for J.D. Edwards, including OneWorld and WorldSoft versions, and Oracle's enterprise applications. Last year, Create!form was chosen by J.D. Edwards to be the only provider of document output management software to be certified on future releases of the ERP software, an arrangement that will likely boost the company's presence in J.D. Edwards shops.
J.D. Edwards has no immediate plans to form additional exclusive product partnerships like it has with Create!form International for forms software, sources at the ERP company said recently. Late last year, the Denver company announced that Create!form's software would be the only document output management product to be certified for compatibility with future releases of the ERP software. "Customers would come to us and ask, 'Who do you recommend for document output'? And we would say, 'Well, these four are certified to work with us,' " a source at the company said. "It doesn't make sense to have multiple partnerships in a space. It doesn't bring value to customers." While the ERP giant has no plans to form more exclusive partnerships, it hasn't ruled it out for the future. J.D. Edwards, the biggest OS/400 software company outside of IBM, streamlined its partner program last year into three tiers: OEM relationships, development partnerships, and interface partnerships. The source said that software companies that want access to J.D. Edwards APIs, to integrate their products with J.D. Edwards, but don't necessarily need the full scope of sales and marketing support that comes with a full-blown partnership, can opt for the interface partnership, or "partner lite," as the source called it.
Manhattan Associates last week launched its new ISV Certification Program to help third-party software providers integrate their software with Manhattan's supply chain software and to ensure that the interface is up to spec. Manhattan Associates will choose which vendors it accepts into the new program based on several factors, including their market position, their experience working with Manhattan Associates, and the integrity of their interface. Companies that are chosen for the program will be allowed to display the certification in marketing materials, and will have to recertify every year for new releases of Manhattan's core product, PkMS. The Atlanta company also announced that the first ISVs obtaining certification are JDA Software, a Scottsdale, Arizona, provider of OS/400, Unix, and Windows based merchandise management systems for retailers, and SeeBeyond Technology, an EAI software company headquartered in Monrovia, California.
What makes IBM different from Microsoft regarding Fast400??
What is Fast400?
You are hearing a lot about Fast400 aren't you? But what is Fast400? Fast400 is a "tuning" product for the iSeries. Fast400 will allow an iSeries server to utilize the available CPW for interactive processing. IBM would have you believe that these interactive cards that cost thousands to millions of dollars, actually add value to your server. By buying Fast400, you do not ever need to buy anther interactive card for your iSeries. For a free demonstration of Fast400, please visit www.fast400.net.
A few years ago Microsoft would not let other software companies build tools to work with the Windows operating system. Microsoft did all kinds of scurrilous things to stop other manufacturers software from working on their platform. They would put code in the base operating system that prevented other companies code from working properly. IBM even had these issues with Operations Navigator. In the early days of Operations Navigator, the developers in Rochester had to scrap early versions because Microsoft did not want IBM leverage on what was proprietary to them. Netscape also had a few problems using the Windows operating system.
Now we all know what happened to Microsoft. After spending tens of millions of our tax dollars in the trial, the US government told Microsoft that they were acting as a monopoly and what they did was not right or fair.
IBM is doing exactly the same thing to Fast400 as Microsoft did. IBM has changed the operating system of the iSeries 400 to prevent Fast400 from working. In fact this has been done several times now, and each time the Fast400 developers produce a new fix to circumvent the IBM action. Why does IBM do this? because Fast400 takes money out of IBM's pocket. The potential for IBM to make billions from its user base, for delivering virtually no product is tantamount to corporate deception! Did IBM change the operating system when EMC introduced a low cost storage solution for the iSeries?
The cat and mouse game between IBM and Fast400 is already a year old. Every time IBM changes the operating system to disable Fast400, the developers of Fast400 produce a new version within days to enable it again. Does Fast400 have a commercial agenda? Of course it does. Fast400 is in business to provide its clients with added benefits, which will maximise the interactive performance of iSeries 400 servers. And as we are a business, why shouldn't we charge a nominal fee for that service? A fee that our clients see as being fair and proper. After all, it's not Fast400 that is making enemies in the user base. As long as IBM wants to play "David and Goliath" we will continue to "out" the giant. Fast400 is not running, you can be assured!!
For more information, please visit www.fast400.net.
Timothy Prickett Morgan
Advertising Sales Representative
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