But Wait, There's More. . .
Jacada turned things around in the fourth quarter of 2002 and finished the year on a profitable note, the first time the company realized income from operations. Last week the Atlanta company announced net income of $440,000 on revenues of $5.6 million for the fourth quarter, which ended December 31. Continued cost-cutting and an increase in revenue from software license fees put Jacada over the top for the first time in many quarters. The company reported software license fee revenues of $2.8 million for the quarter, an increase of 37 percent over the fourth quarter in 2001. The company trimmed expenses to $4.5 million for the quarter, a 36 percent decrease from the fourth quarter of 2001. The company's overall expenses for 2002 were $20.7 million, a 30 percent decrease from 2001. Total 2002 revenues for Jacada were $21.5 million, a 16 percent decline from a year ago. The company ended 2002 with a loss of $2.6 million, compared with a $2.9 million loss for the fourth quarter of 2001, and an $8.7 million loss for all of 2001. The news was well-received on Wall Street, where Jacada's stock, which is traded on the NASDAQ stock market, jumped 10 percent the day of the announcement. In other Jacada news, Mike Potts, the company's president, announced he will step down from that position at the end of May to spend more time with his family, although he will remain in an advisory roll with the company through 2004. Jacada chief executive Gideon Hollander did not announce Potts' replacement. Jacada also announced last week that it has formed a partnership with Computer Associates to provide Web-to-host software that complements CA's mainframe data integration and management offerings, including Advantage EDBC, Advantage CA-IDMS, and Advantage CA-Datacom.
Former IBMer Roger Arndt has taken the position of vice president of product and customer marketing at Avnet Hall-Mark, the largest iSeries distributor. Arndt worked in IBM's iSeries sales and marketing organization for more than 10 years, including a stint as director of iSeries sales for the Americas. Most recently, Arndt worked on IBM business partner initiatives as the director of business partner sales for IBM's small and midsized businesses. In his new role, Arndt will be charged with aligning product and customer marketing teams more closely with Avnet Hall-Mark's sales goals.
Better On-Line Solutions, the Israeli-based provider of IP telephony and iSeries connectivity equipment, last week announced that it has resolved a shareholder lawsuit and that the path is now clear to complete a proposed stock transaction with Catalyst Investments, an Israeli venture capital firm, whereupon Catalyst would become the company's largest shareholder. The transaction, first proposed last November, calls for B.O.S. to purchase most of Catalysts' shares in Surf Communication Solutions, an Israeli affiliate of B.O.S. that develops software related to IP telephony, which is B.O.S.'s new focus. In exchange, B.O.S. would issue Catalyst enough of its own stock to make Catalyst the largest shareholder, with 16.6 percent of outstanding shares. (While B.O.S. did not provide an explanation for this proposed action, it is surely designed to shore up its stock price, which hit a 52-week low of 48 cents last week. NASDAQ has sent B.O.S. delisting notices.) On January 14, unidentified B.O.S. shareholders filed suit against B.O.S., saying the transaction with Catalyst should be subject to a vote by B.O.S. shareholders. A judge issued a temporary restraining order barring B.O.S. from completing the transaction. Last week. B.O.S. announced that it has come to an agreement with the shareholders that puts restrictions on how Catalyst can use its B.O.S. shares, and does not require a vote be held to approve the Catalyst-Surf stock transaction. Under the agreement, Catalyst can't enter into any voting agreements with other B.O.S. shareholders until February 1, 2005, and can't sell its B.O.S. shares until a year after that. The shareholder lawsuit has been dismissed.
EXE Technologies filed an 11-count lawsuit against its archrival in the supply chain management software space, Manhattan Associates, and three former EXE employees. Manhattan Associates misappropriated proprietary EXE information in the pursuit of unfair and anticompetitive business practices against EXE, alleges EXE, which is based in Dallas and filed its lawsuit there. EXE will seek a trial by jury and will ask for unspecified punitive and compensatory damages. EXE could not be reached for comment at press time, and it was unknown whether the former EXE workers were, or still are, in the employ of Manhattan. EXE was the top-dog of the supply chain management space during the historical economic run-up of the late 1990s and 2000. However, the company misfired, and Manhattan Associates is today recognized as the kingpin of the pure-play supply chain management vendors. Manhattan, which announced its 2002 fiscal year results last week, did not immediately respond publicly to the suit. The Atlanta company announced total revenues increased by 13 percent to a record $175.7 million for the fiscal year ending December 31. EXE, which announced its fiscal year 2002 results last month, reported a 24 percent decline in total revenues to $74 million. EXE Joe Cowan, who joined EXE in November, said he expects to complete EXE's restructuring by the end of the first quarter and return the company to profitability this year.
Document management looks to be one of the few bright spots in an otherwise gray outlook for the IT marketplace. Last week Nucleus Research, the young analyst group that gained the ire of software vendors like Siebel Systems and i2 Technologies for unflattering reviews of poor return on investment (ROI) for customers, reported that 83 percent of companies implementing document management technologies feel they have gotten their ROI. More specifically, search functionality was found to have contributed to positive productivity in 86 percent of the participants, and 91 percent of the participants found version control to be similarly beneficial. Regarding document retrieval, the average participant reduced retrieval time by 52 percent through their DM solution, Nucleus says. The document management study began in November of last year and involved conducting interviews with 30 users of document management solutions from Documentum, OpenText, FileNET, and Hummingbird, none of whom had any hand in participating or sponsoring the study, Nucleus says. The study is the first in a series of benchmark studies that Nucleus will be conducting to gauge the ROI that companies report for several different types of technologies. Nucleus Research was founded in 2000 by former members of IDC, Gartner Dataquest, and AMR Research, and is headquartered in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
JDA Software Group will donate $3.5 million worth of software and services to the Toronto, Ontario, based Ryerson School of Retail Management, the Scottsdale, Arizona, software company announced last week. Ryerson's students will study the use of several JDA offerings to learn visual merchandising, product and demand planning, customer data analysis, and assortment optimization. "As the industry continues to face dramatic changes such as international competition, shifting consumer behavior, and technological advances, it's clear that new strategies for our curriculum are essential," said Donna Smith, director of the school. The Ryerson School of Retail Management offers the only university-level degree in retail management in Canada, and students can take courses over the Internet. Jim Armstrong, JDA's chief executive, studied at Ryerson.
Document output management software vendor Create!form International signed three new reseller partnerships last week with consultants and systems integrators that have expertise in working with J.D. Edwards software. RHCSolutions, based in Addison, Texas, provides solutions designed for the real estate, homebuilding, and construction industries. Venturi Technology Partners is a consulting firm in Charlotte, North Carolina, that provides a range of technical services to companies throughout North America. TeamCain is an Ontario, Canada, J.D. Edwards implementation specialist that has experience with both WorldSoftware and One World solutions. Create!form, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, formed an exclusive partnership with J.D. Edwards in December that will result in Create!form being the only vendor of document output management software to be certified by J.D. Edwards for interoperability with future releases of its ERP software.
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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