Japan-US Business Report Logo

No. 365, February 2000

Issue Index aaaaa 2000 Archive Index aaaa Search aaaaa Subscriber Area

American Companies in Japan


As part of its strategy of developing content for specific interest groups, AOL JAPAN INC. has created a Web site for older people that includes information on such subjects as nursing care, working past retirement age and estate planning. By clicking on the new "AOL Senior" button in AOL Japan's channel bar, senior Web surfers can enter chat rooms, fill out surveys, search for products geared to their needs and link to 15 carefully selected related Web sites.

Soon-to-be-independent ZDNET INC., the operator of a range of interconnected technology-related sites, is forming a joint venture with YAHOO! JAPAN CORP. and SOFTBANK PUBLISHING INC. to enhance and expand its local Web site. The ZDNet Japan site has been delivering technology content and services since 1997. It offers content from the San Francisco company's American site, plus reporting and editorial material developed by ZDNet's Japan staff and SOFTBANK CORP. sources. ZDNet will own 30 percent of SOFTBANK ZDNET JAPAN K.K., with Softbank Publishing putting up 60 percent of the capital and Yahoo! Japan 10 percent. Among the new additions to ZDNet Japan's Web site will be a localized version of the firm's popular technology investment site, Inter@active Investor.

Aiming to repeat its success at home, INTRANETS.COM, INC. teamed up with HIKARI TSUSHIN, INC., one of the investors in the Woburn, Massachusetts company (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 363, December 1999, p. 10), in a business that will develop, maintain and market free intranet portals for small companies and organizations. The partners will offer localized content, support and services, including free Web-site hosting, custom Internet addresses, industry news, calendar scheduling and other collaborative applications. Hikari Tsushin, Japan's largest distributor of wireless communications devices, has a 55 percent stake in the joint venture.

CLICK2LEARN.COM, INC. (formerly Asymetrix Learning Systems, Inc.), SOFTBANK PUBLISHING INC. and the subsidiary of SOFTBANK FORUMS INC. will establish a company to bring the Bellevue, Washington firm's on-line learning portal to business professionals in Japan. The localized click2learn.com portal, which should be operational shortly, will offer off-the-shelf courseware for computer professionals and managers, instructor-led training, books from Softbank Publishing and other printers as well as its own free browser-based, server-side e-courseware authoring and publishing system, click2learn.publisher. click2learn. com will have a 40 percent share in the joint venture, which will be staffed by employees of the two Softbank organizations.

Hoping that its track record with providing real-time stock information via the Internet to 800 American firms will give it credibility in Japan, TIBCO SOFTWARE INC. has allied with three firms to begin offering this service locally. Users of the proposed Tibco.net service, which could start as soon as April, will receive financial information they select, such as stock quotes and news, at predetermined times via their laptop computers or mobile phones. Palo Alto, California-based TIBCO and its partners — NTT SOFTWARE CORP., NIPPON STEEL CORP. and TOYO INFORMATION SYSTEMS CO., LTD. — are expected to set up a company to manage and market the new service.

The subsidiary of VALUECLICK INC., the pioneer in pay-per-click Internet advertising, has rolled out a service designed to work with NTT MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK, INC.'s wildly popular i-Mode digital cellular phones. The Carpinteria, California company's software will create text-only ads formatted for the small monochrome screens of i-Mode units. With a single click, users will be sent to the particular advertiser's Web site. As with its regular service, advertisers will pay fees per number of clicks. ValueClick faces competition from CYBER AGENT CO., LTD.'s similar i-Mode advertising system, which was launched in late 1999.

New York City's PROMOTIONS.COM, INC. (formerly Webstakes.com, Inc.) is working with local e-commerce business developer TKAI, INC. to come up with a Japanese version of its Webstakes.com promotions portal. Tokyo-based TKAI will manage the launch of Webstakes.com Japan. It also will provide promotion outsourcing and direct marketing services to customers via the new portal and help its partner sell its permission- based direct marketing technology, iDIALOG. With Internet usage growing rapidly in Asia, Promotions.com sees the Webstakes.com Japan portal as a springboard for selling its advertising and sponsorship services throughout the region.

Japan's flower market has entered the Internet Age with the linkup of e-florist pioneer PC FLOWERS & GIFTS, INC. and top floral retailer HIBIYA KADAN, INC. The Stamford, Connecticut e-tailer will provide Web-site infrastructure and back-office support for a virtual florist shop that Hibiya Kadan will fill with its products and domestic content. The Japanese flower seller, which operates 190 directly owned stores and six design and distribution centers around the country, also will offer this template to its corporate customers for cobranding, allowing them to establish an e-commerce operation with minimal effort.

Competitors are facing off in the arena for business-to-business e-commerce exchanges. In one corner, ORACLE CORP.'s subsidiary is offering a Japanese version of Oracle Exchange, which is billed as the industry's first open B2B on-line marketplace service. The localized Oracle Exchange allows any registered business to buy goods and services via the Internet while also developing industry-specific trading communities. .....In another corner, VERTICALNET, INC. is partnering with SOFTBANK COMMERCE CORP. to establish a company to launch B2B vertical communities. The joint venture, in which the Horsham, Pennsylvania firm will have a 40 percent stake, will create Japanese versions of VerticalNet's 55 industry-specific B2B trading communities, including their targeted editorial content and services. The first of the industry-focused electronic exchanges will come on-line later this year.

NTT DATA CORP. will build its e-commerce solutions business around NEW ERA OF NETWORKS, INC.'s NEON platform and services. The big Japanese computer networking provider and systems integrator will use the Denver firm's technology to help clients consolidate their existing networks and upgrade them to B2B and business-to- consumer systems. NTT Data projects the partnership will generate $95.2 million in revenues over three years. It will set up an EAI (enterprise application integration) Solution Center staffed by 20 people to support the new endeavor.

MCKINSEY & CO. is offering a competing service, E-Commerce@McKinsey. Besides providing its expertise on technology solutions, network design and implementation, and e- venture management, the consultant will help clients to improve their customer services and relations, enhance shareholder value and guide mergers and acquisitions. McKinsey has six Internet Business Accelerator centers around the world that provide hands-on development and implementation services. It promises to create a fully functional on-line business in three to six months.


Completing its shift from middleware vendor to e-commerce solution provider, the entire BEA SYSTEMS, INC. line of e-commerce-ready server and middleware products now is available through the San Jose, California firm's subsidiary. BEA WebLogic Enterprise 5.0, BEA eLink and BEA Commerce Ready connect exiting business processes and communications together as well as link partners across the Internet. They also serve as the basis for B2B and B2C operations.

An end-to-end Web-site design and e-commerce package for the printing industry is being offered by NEXTRON COMMUNICATIONS INC. via the Web Venture Asia division of Canada's INTERNATIONAL CONSULTING GROUP INC. The Seattle firm's Integrated Creation and Administration System includes a high-volume Web-site publishing module and a back-office application that manages all aspects of a site, including a shopping cart, inventory control and ordering, and multicurrency capabilities. ICAS also will allow pages to be displayed in multiple languages with little effort.

ENCOMMERCE, INC. is expanding the power of its access management package for Internet portals, aiming at the growing demand for personalized Web services. The Santa Clara, California firm is showcasing the enhanced functionality of its getAccess solution at the CANON INC. group's CIPCOM Web site. Besides acting as a doorkeeper to let in only authorized users, getAccess filters CIPCOM's information to over 32,000 Canon Group employees based on a wide range of administrator-determined factors, including the user's division, title, responsibilities, location and security clearance. Canon hopes to enlarge CIPCOM's coverage to include customers, business partners and, eventually, the public.

To help solidify its position as Japan's number-one Internet portal, YAHOO! JAPAN CORP. has absorbed two Web-hosting and on-line information affiliates. The joint venture between YAHOO! INC. and SOFTBANK CORP. will take over GEOCITIES JAPAN CORP., which provides free Web services, and BROADCAST. COM JAPAN INC., which supplies on-line audio and animation (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 353, February 1999, p. 23). GeoCities Japan is owned by Softbank (58.2 percent) and Yahoo! Japan, while broadcast.com Japan's backers are Softbank (54.2 percent), BROADCAST.COM INC. of Dallas (44.2 percent) and Yahoo! Japan (1.6 percent).

TIVOLI SYSTEMS INC. is providing the technical know-how for ARGOTECHNOS 21 CORP. to enter the application service provider market. The Tokyo firm will offer customers service packages that include 10 Unix servers and 300 client machines for less than $285,700 a year, a savings of some $142,900 over the cost of buying the hardware and software separately. Argotechnos 21 has set a goal of $2.9 million in ASP revenues in FY 2000.

Santa Clara, California-based XACCT TECHNOLOGIES, INC. chose NISSHO IWAI INFOCOM SYSTEMS CO., LTD. to distribute its quality-of-service tracking and billing package. The carrier-class XACCT-usage family acts as the interface between a company's business and operations support systems and its network infrastructure, allowing IT staff to collect usage data, automate the opening of user accounts and handle billing and payment issues. Nissho Iwai Infocom hopes to sell $4.8 million worth of XACCT products the first year and $47.6 million over three years.

Expanding on this niche, HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. is offering Smart Internet Usage 2.0 to ISPs and ASPs. In addition to being highly scalable and available for several popular platforms, SIU 2.0 not only takes care of service usage metering but also can measure usage of other ISP/ASP services. With prices starting at $9,100, HP Japan expects sales of SIU 2.0 to hit $2.9 million the first year.

Software for monitoring the customer side of Web-site activities is available from WAVECREST COMPUTING, INC. through exclusive distributor VERTEX LINK CORP. The Melbourne, Florida company's Cyfin package watches e-business processes, automatically detecting misuse of Web resources, collecting useful statistics and generating detailed reports. The partners will concentrate first on penetrating the Japanese market, but they plan to promote Cyfin throughout the Asian Pacific basin.

Sorting the wheat from the chaff (or worse) of the ever-expanding pool of Internet content is the job of N2H2, INC.'s filtering and categorization software and service package. Available through NISSHO ELECTRONICS CORP., the Seattle firm has combined state-of-the-art artificial intelligence filters with intensive reviews by human staff to analyze and classify Japanese-language Web sites. The package allows users to screen out undesirable Web content, such as violent or pornographic pages. Nissho Electronics will open a support center staffed by N2H2-trained employees and add N2H2's turnkey, proxy server-based solution as part of its menu of consulting services. N2H2 expects to generate revenues of $3 million to $5 million over the first 18 months of the agreement with Nissho Electronics.

AVATERRA.COM, INC. and NTT SOFTWARE CORP. have joined the Santa Clara, California firm's avatar (customizable, portable personal identities) technology for Internet- based interaction with the Japanese firm's VoiceHive system for computer-Internet telephony integration. The combined software allows users to conduct IP-based teleconferencing with avatars, greatly enhancing the communications experience by providing visual confirmation of the participants and their activity modes (speaking, listening or changing conference rooms). Avaterra.com's software is a key part of NTT Software's drive to commercialize advanced interpersonal Internet-based applications (see Japan- U.S. Business Report No. 364, January 2000, p. 25).

RSA SECURITY INC. and a subsidiary of VICTOR CO. OF JAPAN, LTD. have combined two of their software products to target the rapidly growing market for secure access to the Internet via non-PC devices. The addition of the Bedford, Massachusetts firm's BSAFE SSL-C encryption software to JVC's i-browser for embedded applications already has drawn interest from cellular phone makers, but it also is suitable for deployment in personal digital assistants, set-top boxes and other digital appliances. .....Separately, RSA SECURITY INC.'s subsidiary is offering trial versions of its authentication server and public key infrastructure solutions to introduce customers to the software. RSA Keon Certificate Server Pilot Pack covers 25 users for $6,700, while RSA Keon Advanced PKI Pilot Pack handles 100 users for $15,200.

The local units of CYBERCASH, INC. and VERISIGN, INC. are working together on a Secure Commerce Pack for e-commerce applications. Bundling CyberCash's Secure CreditCard Service with VeriSign's Secure Server ID authentication solution, the partners hope to boost sales by discounting the price to $1,700.

Two more companies have joined the already substantial list of businesses distributing NETWORK ASSOCIATES, INC.'s complete line of enterprise-level security products, including PGP encryption, Sniffer Basic, Sniffer ProLAN and Magic. NAI's subsidiary hopes that the addition of ASSIST CO., LTD. and SUMITOMO CORP. will boost sales by $454,500 every three months. The company's products range in price from $2,800 to $21,400.


HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. signed MI-TSUI & CO., LTD. to distribute its Praesidium family of single sign-on network access security solutions. In wide use by banks and other financial institutions around the world, Praesidium guards against hacker attacks by tightly controlling access to networks and network resources for e-commerce and electronic banking. The trader and HP Japan plan to set up a security solutions center that will target Praesidium sales to both businesses and government agencies. Praesidium products start at $3,300. Mitsui projects that the new business will produce first-year sales of $9.5 million.

Aided by distributor ADVANCED RESEARCH OF TECHNOLOGIES, INC., Mountain View, California-based RAINFINITY has jumped into the market for firewall software. Rainfinity's Rainwall package brings state-of-the-art clustering power to the computationally intensive task of examining all packets crossing a network's boundary by employing its proprietary RAIN (reliable array of independent nodes) technology. ART priced a single- system Rainwall package at $9,100.

Eyeing the many corporations in Japan that have adopted Exchange Server for messaging and e-mail tasks, VERISIGN, INC.'s local unit is marketing an encryption add-on that offers top performance and easy administration. Go Secure! for Microsoft Exchange is easier to install that competing products because the software resides only on the server and not on client machines.

Targeting a slightly different market, AUTHENTICA SECURITY TECHNOLOGIES, INC. has widened the distribution channels for its PageVault electronic document security solution. The Waltham, Massachusetts firm's products already are handled by two companies (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 359, August 1999, p. 27), but the addition of ITOCHU TECHNO-SCIENCE CORP. should help to raise sales of PageVault to $4.8 million over the next three years. The package starts at $9,500 for a one-server/five-client license.

Sales of $3.8 million in the fiscal year through March 2001 are forecast for a suite of ENTRUST TECHNOLOGIES INC.'s business security products. Installed on each employee's PC, Entrust Desktop Solutions 5.0 handles file encryption, e-mail encryption, Internet security and user-access control. The Plano, Texas company's affiliate priced the package between $430 and $475.

To push the Linux open-source operating system beyond the specialized IT functions it has captured to date, the subsidiary of TURBOLINUX, INC. has struck deals with four systems integrators to target the enterprise computing market. DIAMOND PC CORP., ITOCHU TECHNO-SCIENCE CORP., RIKEI CORP. and TOYO INFORMATION SYSTEMS CO., LTD. will work with the San Francisco firm to bid on large network IT systems as well as to offer marketing and technical support. The resellers also are eager to promote TurboLinux's Linux clustering solution when it is localized this spring. .....Separately, TURBOLINUX, INC.'s sales unit has published an introduction and instruction product for Linux. Entirely in Japanese and priced around $50, Let's Try Linux was developed for TurboLinux by a PFU LTD. affiliate and TCS LTD.

SUN MICROSYSTEMS, INC. has blessed an alternative to its Java-based Java Virtual Machine. Developed by Tokyo's ACCESS CO., LTD., JV-Lite2 complies with Sun Microsystems' Java specifications and passes the Java compatibility test. Access will offer JV-Lite2 with an integrated Web browser designed for portable phones, digital TVs and PDAs. Access claims to have 80 percent of the market for browsers embedded in Internet appliances, the result of its pacts with four top makers of i-Mode phones. It hopes to expand its global position in this field.

Underscoring Java's growing following, SYMANTEC CORP.'s operation released localized versions of its parent's latest Java development package. Available in three "strengths" — Standard ($140), Expert ($935) and Enterprise ($3,400) — Visual Cafe 4 provides a wide range of tools and assistants to quickly create Java applications based on the latest Java specifications and compatible with a wide range of hardware and other software.

Moving into the Japanese market, IVES DEVELOPMENT, INC. produced a fully localized version of its software engineering tools for Lotus Notes and Domino. TeamStudio Design has five components: Analyzer for design analysis, CIAO! client-server for check-in/check- out and version control, Configurator for global search and replace, Delta for differential analysis and Librarian for code reuse. The Beverly, Massachusetts firm is so positive about the Japanese market that it plans to open an office sometime in 2000 to support TeamStudio Design customers.

In order to expand the use of its Digita operating system for digital imaging devices, FLASHPOINT TECHNOLOGY, INC. is seeking partnerships with as many as 100 local software houses to produce Digita-based programs. The San Jose, California company also plans to add more engineers and marketing specialists at its recently opened Tokyo office (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 357, June 1999, p. 24). Digita application development kits are priced from $400 to $3,000.

Faced with rapidly rising demand for product support, MICROSOFT CORP.'s subsidiary is gearing up on several fronts. For one thing, it plans to double to 100 the number of technical account managers at its Tokyo headquarters by the middle of the year. It also is forging pacts with such major computer makers as NEC CORP. to offer two support programs. One focuses just on Microsoft products, while the other will backstop a customer's entire IT infrastructure. Finally, Microsoft is repositioning its staff to enable them to make more customer calls with less travel time.

HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. is pursuing this same market by launching a service and support division dedicated to Microsoft products. The Microsoft Service Operations group will target two types of customers. For shops that currently run Unix, it will promote the lower cost yet similarly functional Windows NT. For smaller companies, it will offer a menu of QuickStart packages that includes varying amounts of consulting, programming, setup and maintenance.

In a related move, HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. has translated its parent's comprehensive management solution for Windows 2000 for local customers. The Japanese version of HP OpenView Express v1.0 manages network, storage and application operations from a unified console. HP Japan expects to install 1,000 of the $28,400 packages in the first year of availability.

COMPAQ COMPUTER CORP.'s subsidiary released localized versions of its Web- based IT asset management system. Insight Manager XE collects and integrates information from Compaq and third-party de-vices using a variety of protocols, allowing administrators to monitor and manage heterogeneous groups of servers, clients, clusters and network devices from a single point accessible via any Web browser. A special $860 add-in device, Remote Insight Board/PCI, allows Insight Manager XE to control and reboot servers, even if they have crashed or the network is down.


Enterprise storage powerhouse EMC CORP. has brought its latest SAN (storage area network) product to the Japanese market. EMC ControlCenter monitors, configures, fine- tunes and controls data storage resources from a single console that can be accessed directly or via the Internet. Depending on the configuration, EMC ControlCenter is priced from $25,000 to $476,200.

The enterprise application integration market is feeling the impact of the Internet revolution. ACTIVE SOFTWARE, INC. selected NTT SOFTWARE CORP. as the sole distributor of its ActiveWorks Integration System for e-business. ActiveWorks is a key addition to NTT Software's e-commerce consulting service menu because of its proven track record and ability to deliver e-business solutions rapidly. Sales of the Santa Clara, California firm's product will start in April, with NTT Software projecting first-year revenues of $14.3 million.

In the same market segment, ISG INTERNATIONAL SOFTWARE GROUP, LTD. is working with FUJI-TSU SOFTWARE CORP. to provide back-office information integration services. By integrating its INTERSTAGE application server with the Burlington, Massachusetts firm's Navigator enterprise information infrastructure, Fujitsu Software can offer complete e-commerce, B2B and B2C applications. ISG products are distributed by MITSUI & CO., LTD.

Four months after it went on sale, GLOVIA INTERNATIONAL LLC landed the first contract for the Japanese version of its enterprise resource planning system. IWAKI ELECTRONICS CO., LTD. will use glovia.com/5 to create an integrated, Internet-based production and purchasing system that will cover its three product lines — hybrid ICs, system devices and power supplies — and its plants in Fukushima prefecture, China and Taiwan. Iwaki Electronics, a FDK CORP. company, expects to spend between $1.9 million and $2.9 million to implement glovia.com/5. El Segundo, California-based Glovia opened a subsidiary last year (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 358, July 1999, p. 30).

A metal-press computer-aided manufacturing solution developed by NIHON UNISYS, LTD. is available both directly and through ARGOTECHNOS 21 CORP. CADCEUS/DS CAM-P, as Nihon Unisys calls it, or Structure CAM v3 uses electronic engineering and design data in multiple formats to generate instructions for computer-controlled machining centers. However, it also can handle virtual prototyping of models and production lines. The partners hope to land 60 customers for the $68,600 CAM software.

CENTRIC SOFTWARE, INC. enlisted INFORMATION SERVICES INTERNATIONAL-DENTSU, LTD. as the first value-added reseller of its PIVOTAL product life-cycle solution. The San Jose, California firm's software manages a product from conceptual design, analysis and simulation through virtual assembly, manufacturing, training and maintenance. ISID first will concentrate on selling PIVOTAL to manufacturers at home, but it and Centric Software plan a joint attack on other Asian markets in the future.

MANUGISTICS, INC.'s operation is working hard to bring out a localized version of its next-generation supply chain management solution, NetWORKS. The SCM package comes in industry-specific versions that are then tailored further to the needs of individual clients. The main addition to NetWORKS is eXtensible Markup Language support, a technology that promises to allow disparate systems to exchange data and processes with ease. .....In the meantime, MANUGISTICS, INC.'s subsidiary linked up with JAPAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE, LTD. to offer SCM consulting and solutions. Although the Rockville, Maryland company already provides SCM know-how to more than 30 Japanese clients, the partnership is expected to generate significantly greater business thanks to JRI's consulting strengths.

In yet another key contract win, STRUCTURAL RESEARCH DYNAMICS CORP. has a three-year, multimillion-dollar commitment from DENSO CORP., the world's fourth-largest automotive parts maker, to install the Metaphase Enterprise product data management solution. SDRC will integrate its PDM package into Denso's Engineering Core Computing System to unify the firm's worldwide design environment, boost responsiveness to customer needs and reduce development cycle times. NK-EXA CORP., one of SDRC's distributors, landed the Denso contract.

Taking direct aim at STRUCTURAL RESEARCH DYNAMICS CORP.'s number-one ranking in the PDM market, NIHON UNISYS, LTD. has introduced a complete line of products to compete in this field. UNISYS CORP.'s PDM Suite faces an uphill battle but, noting the trend among corporations to integrate all aspects of their IT operations, the subsidiary is touting its broader experience and product family as reasons to give the Unisys PDM software and services a try.

Targeting high-volume call center operations, ROCKWELL ELECTRONIC COMMERCE CORP. launched its Spectrum Integrated Call Center System, an industrial-strength call- directing solution. Spectrum can handle 10 incoming calls per second and accepts connections no matter how busy the call center's lines become. With prices beginning at $381,000 for a 100-seat system, distributor MITSUI & CO., LTD. hopes to build annual Spectrum sales to $14.3 million within two years.

SAS INSTITUTE INC. has made FUJITSU BASIC SOFTWARE CORP. its 14th local Alliance Partner. The Tokyo-based company will build customer relationship management and computer-telephony integration solutions based on SAS Institute's data warehousing and data mining software. According to the Cary, North Carolina firm, the versatility of its SAS System integrated suite of software for enterprise-wide information delivery and of its Enterprise Miner for data mining is their main selling point.

The Tokyo operation of LOTUS DEVELOPMENT CORP. has embarked on a project to develop an Internet-enabled CRM system with knowledge-management characteristics that is built on its Notes/Domino groupware. The e-CRM initiative is aimed at reducing paperwork and increasing responsiveness to customer inquiries. It will make all relevant data available via the Inter-net, filter that data with knowledge-management tools and provide interactive sessions. Lotus Development's unit hopes to find 10 firms to help select the system's features and to serve as test sites.

After testing the CRM market in Japan for more than a year, EXCHANGE APPLICATIONS, INC. has made a major commitment to larger sales there. First, the Boston-based company opened an office in Tokyo. Simultaneously, it released Japanese-language versions of VALEX for enterprise marketing automation and eXstatic for e-mail marketing. Exchange Applications then quickly signed a reseller agreement for VALEX with HITACHI, LTD. and arranged for TELEPHONY INC. to provide marketing assistance. A consulting firm that specializes in the CRM and call-center fields, Telephony introduced the English version of VALEX in the fall of 1998.

Raising its sights toward the higher value-added end of the market, COMPAQ COMPUTER CORP.'s operation will begin bundling enterprise-level software, such as ERP, data warehousing and corporate accounting packages, with its more powerful PCs and servers. To further add to profits and efficiency, orders will be taken on-line and fulfilled by sales agents. Compaq hopes this move will help to boost orders over the Internet to 20 percent of 2000 sales from 5 percent last year, when it launched on-line marketing.

The local arm of NOVELL, INC. is marketing a groupware and network operating system package targeted at businesses with up to 100 employees. Novell Small Business Suite 5 includes NetWare 5, GroupWise 5.5, BorderManager Fast Caching Service 3 and ZENWorks 1.1 Start Pack, an administration tool. Customers also can have other applications, including data base, antivirus and Web-server software, installed as part of the package.

LOTUS DEVELOPMENT CORP.'s subsidiary has introduced a version of its Domino collaboration server for computers running the Linux open-source operating system. Domino R5 for Linux, which costs $950 per server and is based on the RED HAT, INC. version of Linux, will be integrated into hardware/software solutions offered by IBM JAPAN LTD. (Netfinity servers) and OTSUKA SHOKAI CO., LTD.


To retain its data-base server and development environment's cutting edge, SYBASE, INC. added features to Adaptive Server Enterprise to improve its interoperability and to boost its role in e-business applica-tions. Adaptive Server Enterprise v12.0 integrates Java with its data-base functions, adds extended XML support for storing, retrieving and querying information, and includes distributed transaction management tools to smooth operations in heterogeneous environments. The Japanese version of Adaptive Server Enterprise v12.0 starts at $1,400 for a single-user Windows NT edition. A five-user Unix license costs $20,700.

Going head-to-head with Adaptive Server Enterprise, BRIO TECHNOLOGY, INC. of Palo Alto, California is offering through CANON SALES CO., INC. a new version of its eponymous business intelligence suite and development environment. Brio Enterprise 6.0 claims enhanced support for multidimensional data bases, easier integration with other back- end information analysis products, next-generation analytic reporting and enhanced interactive on-line analytical processing tools. The Japanese version of Brio Enterprise 6.0 is priced from $1,900.

Hoping to set the industry standard in this area, IBM JAPAN LTD. and the subsidiary of Chicago's SPSS INC. are working on a common user interface for their data mining engines. The proposed common front-end will allow customers to transparently integrate IBM Japan's Intelligent Miner and SPSS's Clementine interactive data analysis products. The partners further will codevelop industry-specific versions of their integrated offering and open a customer feedback and support center.

Already a leader in its field, DOMAIN PHARMA CORP. released a fully localized version of its latest clinical trial and product safety information management solution. Clintrial 4 release 4.2J is designed to handle the drug clinical trial process worldwide, to distribute global data and standards, and to accelerate drug development. The solution is available directly from the Lexington, Massachusetts firm's NIHON DOMAIN SOLUTIONS K.K. subsidiary.

ORACLE CORP. has won the first contract in Japan for its new Oracle Financial Analyzer application. Oracle will integrate the accounting data analysis solution with its ERP system already in place at KYUSHU MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC CO., LTD. The installation will generate charts, graphs and other reports for top executives at the firm, who can view and query the confidential accounting data via a Web browser interface.

Hoping to bring some order to the chaos of Japan's accounting software market, MICROSOFT CORP. and local market leader MIROKU JYOHO SERVICE CO., LTD. have developed a financial-information exchange utility program. The $9,300 package accepts data from a wide range of Japanese accounting programs and then outputs information to an equally varied assortment of formats. The program can be tweaked to interface with custom packages as well. Since these two firms hold large shares of the Japanese accounting software market, the utility could encourage customers to switch to their program.

SONIC SOLUTIONS has jumped into the Japanese market with its DVDit! multimedia authoring tool by lining up consumer and OEM marketing channels. SOFTBANK COMMERCE CORP., the main distributor of consumer versions of DVDit!, expects its network of 600 retailers to have trouble meeting demand for the $475 product. The Novato, California firm's OEM partner, MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD.'s Corporate International Trade Division, will bundle DVDit! with its own multimedia software and hardware for sale to PC makers. The software's simple interface and ability to handle multiple input formats are key selling points.

To meet users' demands for collaborative, cross-platform solutions, COCREATE SOFTWARE INC. has added more links to third-party software as well as 3D capabilities to its SolidDesigner 2000 family of CAD programs. A collaboration module connects development teams regardless of location, while a team management module keeps track of all data, activities and customer relationship needs. Three direct data interfaces to process-centric development environments boost interoperability.

Thanks to distributor CYBERNET SYSTEMS CO., LTD., Southpointe, Pennsylvania- based ANSYS, INC. signed a contract with longtime customer HITACHI, LTD. for its automotive products group to install the latest version of the DesignSpace computer-aided engineering solution. DesignSpace will do first-pass engineering simulations for powertrains and electric vehicles, helping the environmentally oriented group to reduce prototyping costs, improve quality and cut development times. Hitachi purchased 38 seats of the ANSYS product.

To support its growing business in Japan, electronic design automation developer SIMPLEX SOLUTIONS, INC. upgraded its Yokohama branch office opened in late 1998 to a full subsidiary. The new unit will take over sales and support of the Sunnyvale, California firm's EDA products from SC HIGHTECH CORP., which has handled these duties for the past three years. SC Hightech's parent, SUMITOMO CORP., is an investor in Simplex. .....SIMPLEX SOLUTIONS, INC.'s newest Japanese customer is TOSHIBA CORP. The big chipmaker will deploy Simplex's Fire & Ice QX extraction interconnection and VoltageStorm power grid analysis tools throughout its global chip design infrastructure. Toshiba will use the tools to meet the stringent verification demands of ultra-deep submicron designs with 0.18-micron and 0.14-micron features. NEC CORP. is Simplex's other major Japanese customer.

Responding to the growing demand to design simultaneously the hardware and the software that make up system chips, EDA leader CADENCE DESIGN SYSTEMS, INC.'s unit has begun shipping a new package for system-on-a-chip solutions. The Cierto virtual component codesign environment, which runs on both Unix and Windows NT-based workstations, takes an integrated approach to creating SOC hardware and associated software, allowing engineers to compare the capabilities of both aspects of their designs early in the process and to effect changes in midstream. The package is priced from $114,300.

To make its EDA solutions more Internet-friendly, XILINX, INC. released through its subsidiary two utilities that ease the exchange of data across the Web. IP Internet Capture automatically identifies, captures and documents a module of synthesizable VHDL, Verilog code or a fixed function netlist. The system allows captured information to be cataloged for reuse. IP Remote Interface enables designers to create their own graphical user interface and software executables, allowing them to tap into fixed netlists, VHDL and Verilog source to develop their own IP cores. The tool incorporates strong encryption protocols to ensure the security of sensitive information exchanged via the Internet.

Concluding the largest contract in its history, FLUENCE TECHNOLOGY INC. signed a three-year, multimillion-dollar deal with TOSHIBA CORP. to codevelop an open test platform based on the Standard Test Interface Language format adopted last year. To start off, the Beaverton, Oregon company will integrate its TDS design and test software suite into Toshiba's System LSI (large-scale integration) design environment. STIL provides an interface between system verification at the design stage and the production automatic test equipment setup.

An important player in Japan's wireless communications revolution, PHONE.COM, INC., announced that its wireless Internet access technology is being used by DDI CORP. and IDO CORP. to launch PacketOne CDMA-based packet communications service as part of their nine-month-old EZweb and EZaccess wireless Internet access services. Mobile phones equipped with the Redwood City, California firm's UP.Browser microbrowser can receive e-mail, view more than 200 specially formatted Web sites and access Internet- based applications. More than 3 million people subscribe to the nationwide cdmaOne services offered by DDI and IDO.


PUMA TECHNOLOGY, INC. will introduce a Japanese version of its no-fee Internet- based synchronization service in the third quarter of 2000. Intellisync.com will allow any user with Internet access to keep PC-based applications, mobile devices and Web-based content and services synchronized from one central Internet address. The San Jose, California firm's early announcement no doubt was intended to defend its posi-tion in the market for synchronization software from a growing number of competitors (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 364, January 2000, pp. 29-30).

Preparing for the activation of Japan's broadband infrastructure, NTS, INC. of Sunnyvale, California signed a marketing agreement with TERILOGY CO., LTD. covering its EnterNet broadband subscriber services software. Once installed on a client computer, the package makes it simple to connect to a high-speed network using the Internet point-to-point protocol. Initially available in English, EnterNet will be released in Japanese sometime in the spring. The Tokyo distributor has targeted Internet service providers and communications carriers for its initial sales effort in the hope of generating revenues of $952,400 the first year.

Similarly, PACKETVIDEO CORP. will provide its broadband testing solution for next- generation wireless networks to NTT MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK, INC. The San Diego, California firm's software will allow NTT DoCoMo to verify that its hardware meets the 3G-324M standard for broadband digital wireless networks and to check the interoperability of various mobile terminals with is third-generation system. PacketVideo's technology is critical to NTT DoCoMo's plan to begin third-generation digital wireless operations at the start of 2001, offering users real-time, two-way audio and video services on their cellular devices.

Although transmission quality issues remain, many individuals and companies are embracing Internet-based telephony as a cost-saving technology. NTT WORLDWIDE TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORP. is one of the companies moving to meet this demand. It has created a global IP telephony clearinghouse and network based on IP telephony products supplied by CLARENT CORP. of Redwood City, California. Customers will be able to place calls from within their corporate network for routing by NTT WorldWide's NTT Communications Clearinghouse service to outside phones around the world.

To help communications carriers and large network operators subject their systems to real- world stresses, AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES INC.'s subsidiary released a localized version of the StormSession network traffic generator test utility. In conjunction with such protocol testing software as Agilent's recently acquired QA Robot, StormSession allows users to evaluate end-to-end routing performance by simulating simultaneously up to 20,000 different communications sessions. Agilent hopes to sell about 30 of the $16,100 packages annually.

Multinational corporations considering deployment of a single global network that carries voice, data and video information will be interested in a new simulation and testing service from NCR CORP. and CISCO SYSTEMS, INC. The partners have connected Multi- service Networking Centers located in Tokyo and in six other cities around the globe with a high-speed network and invited customers to use the secure system to plan, design and test their own multiservice network architectures, infrastructures and applications. Not only will companies benefit by developing well-tested network systems, but the Multi-service Networking Centers also allow them to work out implementation problems and train personnel in maintenance before tackling the real thing.

MICROSOFT CORP. will take a 3.45 percent stake in one of its top local account resellers, UCHIDA-SPECTRUM INC., through a private placement. The Tokyo software provider, formed in 1995 by SOFTWARE SPECTRUM INC. of Garland, Texas and UCHIDA YOKO CO., LTD., will use the capital infusion to expand its business into the on-line world. Once Microsoft buys into the company, Software Spectrum will own 43.45 percent of Uchida-Spectrum versus a 53.1 percent share for Uchida Yoko.

An exchange rate of ¥105=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa

Top aaaaa Issue Index aaaaa 2000 Archive Index aaaa Search aaaaa Subscriber Areaaaaa Home