Hoping to exploit the growing popularity of MICROSOFT CORP.'s Windows CE operating system for handheld PCs and embedded devices, CASIO COMPUTER CO., LTD. created a subsidiary in San Jose, California to develop and market software for this market. CASIO SOFT, INC. will work not only on products to support its parent's line of CASSIOPEIA handheld PCs but also Windows CE-based systems from other manufacturers. The company already has released the first three products in its Business Tools for Windows CE series. They are CSI Project, a project management companion to Microsoft Project that retails for a suggested $80; the $60 CSI PowerPack, a collection of six utilities; and CSI Outliner, an idea outliner and list organizer that goes for about $40. Casio Soft, which is starting out with 13 employees, is looking for sales of $2.2 million in its first year of operation. By 2001, it expects to have annual revenues of $10 million and double the staffing.
HITACHI SOFTWARE ENGINEERING CO., LTD. has spun out the Image and Information Systems division of its San Bruno, California HITACHI SOFTWARE ENGINEERING AMERICA, LTD. subsidiary into HITACHI SOFTWARE GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY, LTD. The new company, currently based in Boulder, Colorado but soon to be headquartered in Westminster, Colorado, starts off life as a leading developer of imaging and raster-to-vector conversion software for the computer-aided design and geographic information systems markets as well as a supplier of custom software solutions and data conversion services. Hitachi Software Global Technology has several new products ready for introduction in 1999. These, it hopes, will help boost revenues from $6.6 million in its first year of independent operation to $8.3 million after three years. The start-up counts among its customers some Fortune 500 companies.
The latest evolution in the nearly 30-year relationship between ASAHI CHEMICAL INDUSTRY CO., LTD. and GERBER TECHNOLOGY, INC., which manufactures automation equipment for the apparel industry and a variety of others, is an agreement to collaborate on the advancement of the Japanese partner's AGMS-3D pattern design and development system. For starters, they are adapting the three-dimensional production pattern-making program, introduced in Japan five years ago, to run on PCs rather than just on RISC-based engineering workstations. Tolland, Connecticut-based Gerber Technology also has been given exclusive worldwide rights outside Japan and South Korea to distribute the AGMS-3D program as an option with its AccuMark system to apparel customers seeking the accuracy and the efficiency that 3D imaging brings to the visualization, modification and confirmation of pattern designs.
The U.S. subsidiary of a sixth Japanese financial institution has selected software from SUNGARD DATA SYSTEMS INC. to help manage its operations. Following in the footsteps of its parent (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 346, July 1998, p. 24), YASUDA TRUST & BANKING CO., LTD.'s New York City unit will use the Global Plus system to support its $15 billion North American custody business. The package is a Year 2000-ready, multicurrency, accrual-based asset management and accounting system. It will cost effectively provide sales and customer service tools to backstop front-office procedures while automating back-office processes. The Global Plus system will be operational at Yasuda Trust's Manhattan data center in May 1999.
An exchange rate of ¥121=$1.00 was used in this report.