Building on its position as the developer of the world's first and largest moving and relocation Web site, VIRTUAL RELOCATION.COM, INC. has teamed with NISSHO IWAI CORP. to bring this unique service to Japanese customers. The Portland, Oregon company and the trader first will create a Japanese-language relocation and travel Web portal targeting people traveling in or relocating to the United States. The partners will seek exclusive partners within the travel and relocation industry to provide content for their venture. In addition to the core menu, the portal will provide access to information on Japanese-speaking travel agencies, real estate agents and restaurants. It also will contain travel guides. To get the portal off the ground in July, Nissho Iwai will ask the thousands of people who work for it and affiliated companies to use the service.
Another new Web portal idea is being promoted by MAXNET, INC. of Freehold, New Jersey and WORLD CLASS MARKETING, INC. of New York City. The two will launch MaxPlanet.com-Japan, emulating Maxnet's MaxPlanet Internet multimedia marketing and public relations portal. The site will combine advertising of all kinds with listings of local merchants and services, sorted by both type and location.
Taking part in one of the hottest segments of the Japanese on-line market, the local unit of Reston, Virginia-based ICSA, INC., which offers network security services (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 351, December 1998, p. 23), and Tokyo's VAGABOND CO., LTD. have merged their separate information services into a single weekly e-magazine. For $7 a month, Scan Security Wire combines Vagabond's Scan new product and technology bulletin for information security professionals with ICSA's Japanese-language Security Wire electronic daily on computer hacking, privacy and encryption. The new publication has assumed Scan's existing on-line readership base of about 370,000. The partners expect the merged product to attract an even wider audience.
BEA SYSTEMS, INC. announced that YAZAKI CORP., a manufacturer of wire harnesses and other automotive parts, had selected its BEA WebLogic server to develop and deploy an on-line ordering system. The San Jose, California firm's Web application development and server environment will be used to integrate Yazaki's global ordering, purchase management, inventory and shipping systems into a single Web site. Local developer EC-ONE, INC., a BEA WebLogic service partner, claims that the site is the first one in Japan built entirely from Enterprise Java Beans, or business- logic modules written in the Java language. .....In another facet of this deal, software from ENCOMMERCE, INC. was chosen by YAZAKI CORP. to secure its Web site. The Santa Clara, California firm's getAccess controls and manages general access to the site. It also allows authorized users to see only the information that matches their access privileges when ordering parts on-line. At the same time, Yazaki can securely track each order until it is delivered.
UNISYS CORP.'s subsidiary has started a unique service aimed at companies that want to take advantage of the latest Internet and e-commerce technologies but do not want to develop the needed resources in-house. Subscribers to NIHON UNISYS, LTD.'s OnNet Solution can have their entire corporate information infrastructure reviewed and reengineered for doing business in the Internet Age. Hardware, software, integration and after-sale service are all included in the package.
With the backing of ZERON GROUP, a merchant banking and venture capital firm, TECHWAVE INC. aims to build a presence in Japan for e-commerce services. The Seattle company, the operator of ShopNow.com and MyShopNow.com, provides creative development, production, merchant support, and marketing and distribution services on an outsourced basis, advertising itself as a end-to-end e-commerce provider. Beside providing capital, Zeron will use its offices in Tokyo and New York City to develop clients for TechWave's services.
POINTCAST INC.'s unit has rolled out the latest version of its media streaming and information distribution channel software, Pointcast Network. Besides being fully localized for Japanese users, version 2.7 supports the latest Internet protocols and gives users access to more than 700 news and information providers. The Sunnyvale, California company's latest Pointcast Network version also sports improved user tools to filter and sort through the flood of Internet-based information.
The author of the OS-9 embedded operating system, Des Moines, Iowa-based MICROWARE SYSTEMS CORP., and ACCESS CO., LTD. have signed a software development pact to integrate their offerings for the embedded and ultrathin client markets. The first product is a port of Tokyo-headquartered Access' NetFront microweb browser and JV-Lite small-memory-footprint Java virtual machine to Microware's OS-9 operating system. Since OS-9 already runs on HITACHI, LTD.'s popular SH-3 processor line for embedded applications, the partners hope to license the ported Internet-access tools, which start at $33,300, to 100 developers of SH-3-based appliances in the first year.
Complementing its family of integrated firewall, traffic management and virtual private network hardware (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 354, March 1999, p. 16), NETSCREEN TECHNOLOGIES, INC. has released a VPN client package for laptop computers. HITACHI SEIBU SOFTWARE, LTD., which already sells the Santa Clara, California firm's NetScreen integrated network security appliances, will handle distribution of NetScreen Remote. Licenses start at roughly $20 per computer for up to 3,000 users.
Hoping that the concept will prove as popular in Japan as it has in the United States, LYRIS TECHNOLOGIES INC. and local partner ACTIVEWAVE TECHNOLOGIES have introduced the first high-powered e-mail list server package fully translated into Japanese. The Oakland, California firm's Lyris List Server can distribute more than 100,000 messages an hour. and it allows users to view and post messages via a Web browser interface. The localized Lyris list server also supports all Japanese e-mail encoding standards as well as Japanese NNTP newsgroups. Despite these strengths, it is easy to manage. ActiveWave says that a wide range of Japanese organizations, including companies of all sizes, academic institutions and on-line publishers, have expressed interest in the new software.
HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. expects to sell 500 copies of version 2.0 of Firehunter, its end-to-end network service management solution. Aimed at small and midsized companies as well as large customers, the software actively monitors Internet and network performance, alerting Internet services providers and network administrators when slowdowns threaten to violate service-level agreements signed with customers. Firehunter, which starts at $20,000 for small and midsized users and $45,500 for corporate customers, is tightly integrated with HEWLETT-PACKARD CO.'s OpenView family of network management products.
Just five months after launching a company with 16 Japanese investors to distribute on an exclusive basis its public-key infrastructure solutions (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 352, January 1999, p. 21), Plano, Texas-based ENTRUST TECHNOLOGIES INC. released a localized client version of its PKI security system for Internet transactions, Entrust/PKI 4.0. The Entrust/Entelligence 4.0J front-end application has been upgraded to handle the double-byte Japanese language encodings. It allows local users to easily access and modify their personal electronic identity, which is stored on a centrally managed server. SECOM INFORMATION SYSTEMS CO., LTD. and NTT DATA CORP. are distributing Entrust/Entelligence 4.0J.
The local arm of VERISIGN, INC. has increased its ability to offer secure 128-bit encryption technology to a wider range of companies. To its existing customer base of financial institutions, VeriSign now can install its Global Server ID digital certificate authority on servers run by most Japanese affiliates of American firms, insurers and many health-care companies (but not pharmaceutical and biochemical businesses).
Fairfield, Connecticut-based COMPETITIVE TECHNOLOGIES, INC. announced that client NTRU CRYPTOSYSTEMS, INC. of Providence, Rhode Island is ready to deliver its Tumbler high-speed encryption technology to Japanese customers. While providing levels of security comparable to other systems, Tumbler calculates encryption keys up to 800 times faster than rival products and decrypts data as much as 100 times more quickly. Some of the first companies likely to buy Tumbler are SONY CORP., which owns a stake in NTRU Cryptosystems (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 352, January 1999, p. 8), and MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD., a CTI client.
A localized version of OpenVMS v7.2, a legacy of its aquisition of Digital Equipment Corp., has been issued by COMPAQ COMPUTER CORP.'s subsidiary. The general- purpose, multiuser, mainframe-class operating system runs on VAX machines as well as systems powered by the Alpha 64-bit RISC processor. Version 7.2 claims many new features to ease interoperability with Windows NT systems. It also incorporates the Galaxy clustering technology for symmetric multiprocessing. License fees start at $470 for a single user.
IBM JAPAN LTD. and INTEL CORP.'s subsidiary have established a support center for the Linux operating system, further boosting the open-source OS's claim to being a serious alternative for corporate deployment. The center will help clients with both hardware and software questions and training. It also will launch a Linux Partners program for software developers interested in writing to the open-source system. Some of IBM Japan's servers come bundled with Red Hat Linux from Durham, North Carolina RED HAT SOFTWARE, INC.
To boost licensing revenues from its pSOS embedded operating system, INTEGRATED SYSTEMS, INC. has agreed to help market HITACHI, LTD.'s high-end SH-4 processor family. The subsidiary of Sunnyvale, California-based ISI will work with Hitachi to develop embedded applications for pSOS-powered SH-4s and pool its sales efforts with the electronics maker.
Continuing its drive to be the glue of heterogeneous networks, IBM JAPAN LTD. has released MQSeries Integrator. Currently available only in English, the product dynamically transforms and reformats content produced by one application before routing it to its destination according to user-determined rules. Not only does MQSeries Integrator ease the integration of legacy and new computer systems and applications, the software also makes it easier to add, extend or replace both hardware and software. MQSeries Integrator pricing begins at $171,800.
Start-up NEXT NETS CORP. of Tokyo has selected INSIGNIA SOLUTIONS INC.'s Jeode software development platform to add Java-compatibility to the next iteration of its Cessna mobile terminal system. Cessna is a hyperthin client for Windows CE that lets handheld devices transparently run Windows 95/98/NT applications on remote Windows NT servers. Fremont, California-based Insignia hopes that the Next Nets win validates Jeode as a Windows CE development environment in the fast-growing Japanese market.
Through its subsidiary, SUN MICROSYSTEMS, INC. released the latest versions of its Sun WorkShop 32/64-bit integrated development environment. Version 5.0, available initially in English but scheduled to be converted to Japanese in the near future, offers variants for C, C++ and Fortran that run on both Sun's own SPARC-powered workstations and Intel-based machines. The latter costs $5,700, while the SPARC version goes for $6,800.
COMPLETE BUSINESS SOLUTIONS, INC. and NEC CORP. are tightening their business ties. Already in charge of NEC's Core Banking integrated software solution for financial institutions, the Farmington Hills, Michigan company now will help the electronics giant build its APBASE application development framework. It will be used to develop all future NEC software products. The work will be carried out at NEC's Tokyo headquarters as well as at CBSI's development center in India.
IBM JAPAN LTD. has strengthened integration among the three component modules load balancing, caching proxy and Andrew Files System of its WebSphere Web application server and released it as version 2.0. Intended for mixed computing environments, the latest version of WebSphere supports a wide range of protocols and formats. It also provides greater control over the delivery of network services and easier installation and management. Basic packages start at $1,100, while advanced bundles begin at $8,000.
Similarly, SUN MICROSYSTEMS, INC. updated its Web application server to bolster reliability, scalability and performance. NetDynamics 5 brings the Web portal metaphor to business processes, allowing firms to aggregate and integrate business applications and deliver them across the Internet. Currently available only in English, NetDynamics 5 costs between $21,300 to $35,400.
Unfazed by its big-name competitors, HAHT SOFTWARE, INC. reports that its Web application development and server package is selling well in Japan and in the rest of Asia. Thanks to the assistance of strategic partners FUJITSU, LTD. and Nagoya-based HITACHI CHUBU SOFTWARE, LTD., sales of the fully localized HAHTsite 3.1J have been so strong that the Raleigh, North Carolina firm opened a Tokyo support office in March. Hitachi Chubu Software has a nonexclusive contract to distribute HAHTsite 3.1J worldwide, while Fujitsu is promoting the Web application development environment along with its INTERSTAGE object-transaction monitor for Web sites.
Version 2.0 of MICROSOFT CORP.'s Systems Management Server network- and client-management solution is on the market. Priced at $1,900, SMS v2.0 includes full suites of planning tools, deployment tools and diagnostic tools for centrally managing networks and clients. It also has a complete set of integrated modules for managing the entire Windows family of software products. The package handles as well hardware and software inventory, software metering and remote diagnostics. Finally, SMS v2.0 provides a migration path to Windows 2000, Microsoft's next iteration of the widely used operating system.
Coming in June from the local arm of TIVOLI SYSTEMS INC. is a new version of its enterprise information systems management solution. Pricing starts at $98,800. Tivoli Global Enterprise Manager v2.2.1 employs a new business-focused management paradigm. It views the overall health of the corporate computing environment and provides a wide range of tools to manage and integrate disparate applications, data and operating systems.
Corporate network administrators now can better assure the delivery of business- critical applications with CISCO SYSTEMS, INC.'s QoS Policy Manager. Designed to work with the quality-of-service mechanisms built into the world networking equipment leader's network switches, the software allocates bandwidth according to user- determined rules and policies. QoS Policy Manager also enables companies to provide data, video and voice services over their networks without compromising the performance of key applications.
COMPUWARE CORP.'s competing network application management products, EcoSCOPE and EcoTOOLS, are available from a growing list of distributors, including most recently NTT SOFTWARE CORP. and NETPOINT CORP. EcoSCOPE, a key component in the Farmington Hills, Michigan company's EcoSYSTEMS enterprise applications service level management suite, identifies, analyzes and troubleshoots performance problems with applications. It now is distributed by nine firms. For its part, EcoTOOLS plans, monitors, manages and reports on network application availability. Three companies distribute it, including NTT Software and NetPoint
Focusing just on software management, WRQ, INC.'s Express Software Manager 4.0 now is available entirely in Japanese. The Express Inventory module registers and tracks all hardware and software on a network, while the Express Meter component continuously measures software usage. Distributor CYBERNET SYSTEMS CO., LTD. is offering the modules separately as well as bundled, with license fees starting at $85 per seat for 25 to 125 terminals and dropping to $50 per seat for 12,500 or more machines. Cybernet Systems hopes to license as many as 20,000 terminals in the next year.
A network analysis and maintenance package from AVESTA TECHNOLOGIES, INC. can be acquired through MARUBENI SOLUTIONS CORP. The New York City firm's Trinity solution seeks out and analyzes network issues, automatically assesses their current and projected impacts and flags them for network administrators. The Japanese-language version of Trinity lists $125,000. Marubeni Solutions sees first- year sales hitting $2.5 million, while over three years, it expects Trinity-related revenues to top $16.7 million.
NETSUITE DEVELOPMENT CORP. has chosen MARUBUN CORP. as the master distributor for its NetSuite 5.0 network resource management software. The software easily and quickly probes complex networks, divining their hardware, software and data resources. It then can document the existing network, help administrators plan network changes or improvements, and assist with network management duties. Concord, Massachusetts-based NetSuite also reports strong demand for its Network2000, which diagnoses a network's exposure to Year 2000 problems.
At prices ranging from $4,300 to $5,000-plus, a new, seven-component suite of network security utilities from Rockville, Maryland-based AXENT TECHNOLOGIES, INC. is on the market through exclusive distributor NISSHIN ELECTRIC CO., LTD. Headed by the latest version (5.0) of Enterprise Security Manager, the suite includes the NetRecon network security probe, the Intruder Alert breach detector, the NetProwler network intrusion monitor, the Defender two-factor authenticator, the PowerVPN remote communications securer and the Security Briefcase remote access security manager. Nisshin Electric is forecasting sales of AXENT products at $25 million in FY 1999.
CHECK POINT SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGIES, LTD. has granted FUJITSU, LTD. the right to distribute its full line of network security tools, including Check Point Firewall-1, Check Point VPN-1 and Check Point FloodGate-1 bandwidth manager. Fujitsu also has become a member of the Redwood City, California firm's Open Platform for Secure Enterprise Connectivity Alliance, an initiative aimed at easing interoperability among security software products. .....Separately, the local arm of CHECK POINT SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGIES, LTD. has released a new version of Meta IP, its enterprise Internet Protocol address and name-space management package. Version 4.1, which goes for $1,000, extends the software's management capabilities from Windows NT to Unix platforms. Meta IP is designed to work with and enhance the capabilities and the performance of Check Point's entire family of enterprise network security products.
To combat more sophisticated attacks on secure computer data, TRIPWIRE SECURITY SYSTEMS, INC. reports growing demand for its Tripwire file integrity assessment tool. The Portland, Oregon firm recently inked an accord with MATSUSHITA INTER- TECHNO CO., LTD. to open and operate a support center for Tripwire users. The package currently is available for the Solaris and Linux flavors of Unix as well as for Windows NT.
For those companies willing to pay for it, IBM JAPAN LTD. is ready to lend its vast experience at countering computer viruses. The new IBM Japan service monitors a customer's computer system 24 hours a day to detect and eliminate harmful viruses. A company with 10 servers and 250 clients will have to pay about $7,700 a month for this help. The network-based service relies on SYMANTEC CORP.'s Norton AntiVirus utility and mirrors a deal between Symantec and IBM Japan's parent.
NETWORK ASSOCIATES, INC.'s subsidiary released an update of its popular VirusScan Enterprise package. Version 5.9.1 for Macintosh is aimed at corporate computing environments that include desktop machines running the Mac OS as well as those operating in a Windows 95/98/NT environment. A one-year license for 10 machine is $560, rising to $4,100 for 100 terminals. ..... SYMANTEC CORP.'s marketing unit fired right back, releasing a new version of Norton AntiVirus for Microsoft Exchange 1.5. The license fee for the package, aimed at small businesses, is $2,100 for up to 50 users.
To save time and money and to increase productivity, TOYOTA MOTOR CORP. has decided to standardize its e-mail, document and information-sharing systems using LOTUS DEVELOPMENT CORP.'s Notes/Domino groupware. Lotus Development's subsidiary will supply and install Notes groupware and Domino server software throughout Toyota's Japanese operations, eventually linking some 30,000 staffers in a common collaborative and messaging environment.
To help keep its software at the center of corporate business intelligence activities, SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY, INC.'s subsidiary posted Seagate Worksheet v7 client software for on-line analytical processing on its Web site for free downloading. Easy to install and configure, Seagate Worksheet v7 provides intuitive OLAP access to the Scotts Valley, California firm's Seagate Crystal Info and Seagate Holos families of business analysis packages.
SAS INSTITUTE INC. has signed a ninth firm to sell its data warehouse/data-mining construction and operation software. CSK CORP. and the Cary, North Carolina company's marketing unit will cooperate to offer comprehensive data-mining solutions to Japanese clients. .....Separately, SAS INSTITUTE INC. announced plans to release a Japanese version of its popular data-mining engine, Enterprise Miner 3.0, in August. Although it can apply sophisticated analysis tools to raw data, Enterprise Miner's straightforward graphical user interface makes it easy for nontechnical users to apply the software's sample, explore, modify, model and assess processes.
CINCOM SYSTEMS, INC. has struck a development and marketing deal with NTT DATA CORP. to create new products based on the former UniSQL Corp.'s object relational data base technology. After that company ceased operating in 1997, Cincinnati, Ohio-based Cincom purchased UniSQL's global customer base. It has rights to market UniSQL software worldwide except in Japan, where NTT Data holds the franchise. The UniSQL Server combines object and relational data base technologies, giving users the ease-of-use benefits of the former and the access to established skill sets of the latter.
Just four months after it opened a sales office, document archiving and retrieval software maker MOBIUS MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, INC. upgraded its presence to a full subsidiary. The Rye, New York firm's Mobius Electronic Document Warehouse package is being selected by companies because it can integrate large volumes of diverse data, make them available over the Internet and interface tightly with customer service and enterprise resource planning packages from other vendors. ASAHI BANK, LTD., JAPAN AIRLINES CO., LTD. and MITSUBISHI CORP. have deployed Mobius EDW with the help of such distributors and integrators as KANEMATSU ELECTRONICS LTD.
Also raising its local profile is supply chain management software supplier MATRIXONE, INC., which established a subsidiary in Tokyo. Together with master distributor MARUBENI SOLUTIONS CORP. and second-tier partners NIPPON STEEL CORP. and ZUKEN INC., the new operation will market, service and support MatrixOne's Matrix Global Advantage product information and process life-cycle solution. The Chelmsford, Massachusetts firm's customer list already includes MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORP.
HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. and KDD CORP. have signed a letter of intent to cooperate in the development and sale of supply chain management solutions to the distribution industry. Now the road, the pending partners envision working on software to support sales, production and accounting as well to come up with solutions for financial institutions and credit-card companies. The two hope that the combination of KDD's telecommunications expertise with HP Japan's strengths in computer and e- commerce technologies will drive sales of jointly developed SCM software and services to $83.3 million over the next few years.
In a move designed to expand direct and channel sales of its infrastructure management solutions, PEREGRINE SYSTEMS, INC. opened a Tokyo subsidiary. Its packages that help customers reduce the total cost of ownership and boost productivity include Asset Center, which manages assets, procurement, leasing and costs; ServiceCenter, which proactively manages enterprise computing resources; SPAN*FM, an integrated system for designing, planning and managing plant and facility operations; and FleetAnywhere, a suite of programs that track the operations and costs of transportation assets. The San Diego, California firm already has enlisted the support of MITSUBISHI CORP. as a sales, support and service channel (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 354, March 1999, p. 27).
Menlo Park, California-based SIEBEL SYSTEMS, INC. signed HITACHI SOFTWARE ENGINEERING CO., LTD. as a systems integrator and support partner for its complete line of Internet-savvy, enterprise-level front-office applications. Siebel eBusiness, Sales Enterprise, Service Enterprise, Call Center, Field Service, Marketing Enterprise, InterActive and Product Configurator are scalable packages that seamlessly unite firms with third-party resellers, service providers, business partners and customers.
FIREPOND, INC. has tightened ties to the information technology and systems integration division of HITACHI CONSTRUCTION MACHINERY CO., LTD. by granting it the right to resell the Mankato, Minnesota firm's interactive sales force automation software. FirePond and the HCM unit have been working together since 1997 when they brought out a Japanese edition of FirePond's Signature SFA package. The latest agreement lets HCM resell the multilanguage, multicurrency Signature Plus package worldwide through its 200 offices and 1,400 sales representatives. HCM has used Signature Plus, which costs $4,800 per client, to increase "face time" with customers and to slash the time needed to generate sales proposals to just 30 minutes.
DENDRITE INTERNATIONAL, INC.'s selection of FUJITSU MIDDLEWARE LTD. as a distribution partner has paid off quickly in the form of contracts with TOKYO TANABE CO., LTD. and the subsidiary of NOVARTIS AG. The two drugmakers have hired Fujitsu Middleware to install and integrate Dendrite's J Force sales force effectiveness solution. J Force is the Japanese version of Force Pharma, the Morristown, New Jersey provider's SFA package tailored for the special needs of the pharmaceutical industry. J Force already has been installed by other local drug companies, including KISSEI PHARMACEUTICAL CO., LTD., TAKEDA CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES, LTD. and SCHERING-PLOUGH CORP.'s unit.
Jumping into the front-office applications market, IBM JAPAN LTD. released Corepoint Contact Center, Custom Edition. The customer relations package is the first product of COREPOINT TECHNOLOGIES, an Indianapolis software company that INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP. formed last year. The centerpiece of the Corepoint Global Business Partner program, Contact Center reduces telephone support costs and improves service quality while increasing customer interaction and loyalty.
The latest version of 3D Studio MAX, to be released this summer by AUTODESK, INC.'s marketing unit, promises to improve workflow for animators and production studios. Priced at $4,200, version 3 of the object-oriented animation system for the Windows NT operating environments is even more customizable, works with other applications, offers improved rendering engines and a broader range of organic modeling options.
SYMANTEC CORP.'s subsidiary has added another source for its popular Norton AntiVirus software. Under the pact, MITSUI & CO., LTD. not only will distribute the PC utility but will provide technical support to both third-party retailers and end-users. .....In a similar move to bolster customer support, NETWORK ASSOCIATES, INC.'s local arm has hired Tokyo-based SOURCE CORP. to focus on individuals who purchase its antivirus package. Source, which has built a strong base of corporate customers, hopes its support for NAI's VirusScan and PGP encryption software will broaden its market share.
For aspiring programmers, MICROSOFT CORP. has updated its computer-based learning modules for its popular software languages. The $115 Microsoft Mastering Visual Basic 6.0 covers all of the software giant's latest technologies, including ActiveX Data Objects, COM components and Web browser controls. The self-paced series also contains thousands of programming examples and prewritten objects to help speed the learning process.
SPRUCE TECHNOLOGIES, INC. has licensed one of its DVD authoring software to PIONEER ELECTRONIC CORP. for use in the its audio/visual products in Japan. Pioneer also will translate the San Jose, California company's DVDConductor into Japanese as well as distribute and support the multimedia software. DVDMaestro, which already is available locally (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 346, July 1998, p. 24), has built a position in the high end of the DVD authoring market, while DVDConductor is a new product aimed at low-end users.
EXTENSIS CORP. Portland, Oregon has added a second distributor for its multimedia products. Tokyo-based SOFTWARE TOO CORP. joins WINNINGRUN SOFTWARE, INC. as local sources for the $275 PhotoGraphics 1.0J advanced text and graphics for Adobe PhotoShop package; PreFlight Pro 2.1J ($670) prepress add-on for PDF files and PhotoShop, which lists for $670; and the Portfolio Server 4.0J for Portweb digital media delivery system. The client software for that program goes for $330, while the server package costs $3,300.
Taking direct aim at Japan's large video gamer population, ELECTRONICS ARTS will sell computer games at convenience stores throughout Japan. To do this, the San Mateo, California will use its ties to SQUARE CO., LTD. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 345, June 1998, pp. 6-7), which has an affiliate, DIGICUBE CO., LTD., with good connections in the convenience store business. EA titles will be available initially in the 4,500 or so outlets operated by SUNKUS & ASSOCIATES INC. and CIRCLE K JAPAN CO., LTD. Beginning with four titles priced at $25 each, EA hopes to debut six to 11 titles over the next year. In just the first six months of the new arrangement, EA believes that it can sell 100,000 copies of its PC game software.
3COM CORP., the backer of the Palm Computing platform for handheld products (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 354, March 1999, p. 16), and the Los Angeles Brown Global Solutions unit of BROWNE & CO., INC. have completed a joint 18-month project to localize the enormously popular Palm Computing platform. Phase one included redesigning the Palm feature set to appeal more to Japanese users. Next, the two reworked the underlying code for the Palm organizer to support double-byte languages, like Japanese. Finally, the software's interface was reworked in Japanese, including a new input system to handle the Asian language. Not only does the Japanese Palm platform offer all of the organizer and expense-tracking features of the original, but it also has English-to-Japanese and Japanese-to-English dictionaries built in.
Increasing the appeal of its CAD and simulation package, BENTLEY SYSTEMS, INC.'s subsidiary is offering a complete line of products based on the MicroStation/J CAD engine. The software not only can handle the usual engineering design tasks, but it also can be used to create simulation environments based on the CAD files. In addition, MicroStation/J version 7.0 can share data with many popular back-office and front-office programs, all at a price starting at $7,500.
Taking this idea a step further is MATLAB 5.3 and Simulink 3.0 from MATHWORKS, INC. of Natick, Massachusetts. From its origin as a numerical analysis tool, the software combo has evolved into a powerful programming environment for complex technical applications and simulators. The software analyzes and depicts complex data sets and then can use these as the basis for simulations. Sales partner CYBERNET SYSTEMS CO., LTD. has sold the MATLAB/Simulink package to KAWASAKI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD. for use in its aerospace unit.
STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS RESEARCH CORP. is shipping a new version of its popular I-DEAS Master Series high-end CAD/CAE/CAM program to its primary distributors. Version 7 adds Web-enabled collaboration, a new toolpath engine for manufacturing and more hooks into third-party software.
A latest CAD utility from AUTODESK, INC. helps engineers and designers migrate to the new STEP model-description standard published by the International Standards Organization. Autodesk STEP Translator, which requires Mechanical Desktop or AutoCAD r14.01, converts CAD software models into STEP objects. The $820 program is becoming the de facto standard for exchanging engineering data in the automotive, aerospace, defense and energy industries in the United States.
Makers of injection molds for plastic items have access to more sophisticated design tools, thanks to a new CAD/CAM package from the subsidiary of MOLDFLOW CORP. The Lexington, Massachusetts developer's Mold Adviser, which runs on Windows NT and Unix systems, simplifies and speeds the process of creating sprues, runner systems and gates for single cavity, multi-cavity or family molds. The $25,000 package can predict the flow of plastic, assess injection and curing times and communicate the data to the rest of the production team. Moldflow's local unit believes that it can sell 200 copies of Mold Adviser.
A similar product for makers of forged metal products is available from MACNEAL- SCHWENDLER CORP. MSC/SuperForge sports a new graphical user interface on top of a robust finite-volume solver engine. It is intended for simulating 3D bulk forging processes. The software is available through HITACHI ZOSEN INFORMATION SYSTEMS CORP., which has been distributing MSC's products since the fall of 1998.
A flexible package for planning and executing land development projects has been released by AUTODESK, INC.'s subsidiary. AutoCAD Land Development Desktop has powerful mapping tools, including terrain model creation, point manipulation, geometry creation and labeling, and manipulation of land parcels and roadway alignments The straightforward graphical user interface promotes "what if" scenario experimentation, while the hidden AutoCAD engine provides fast results.
Electronic design automation software developer SYNOPSIS, INC. licensed its Prime Time static timing analysis tool to FUJITSU, LTD. The electronics giant will use the Mountain View, California firm's EDA utility to develop its next generation of system- on-a-chip products. .....Separately, SYNOPSIS, INC.'s subsidiary now offers EDA consulting services in addition to its software support activities. Synopsis' logic synthesis package, which translates high-level descriptions of circuits into lists of logic gates and interconnections, has a dominant share of the Japanese market. The company hopes that pairing consulting services with its software will expand its customer base even further.
IBM JAPAN LTD. has ported its popular ViaVoice voice-recognition engine to the enterprise telephony environment. ViaVoice Telephony, which starts at $166,700, can understand many different types of voices, making it possible to create sophisticated electronic telephone answering systems. Also available is a package for automating telephone operator functions that is priced from $87,500. IBM Japan expects to find a ready market for its software among banks, stock brokerages, mail-order companies and any other business that operates a customer call center.
Software developed by PUMA TECHNOLOGY, INC. that keeps the information held by handheld remote clients in sync with data residing on host servers is gaining market share. Soon after the San Jose, California company licensed its Intellisync software to NTT MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK, INC. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 355, March 1999, p. 31), it announced a similar deal with rival cellular operator DDI CORP. Puma Technology is working with both firms to enable customers to enjoy real-time sychronization of data via the Internet.
SIMULATIONS PLUS INC. has landed the first sale of its GastroPlus medicine- absorption simulation package to the Japanese pharmaceutical industry. TEIJIN SYSTEM TECHNOLOGY LTD., which is the Lancaster, California firm's exclusive distributor (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 348, September 1998, p. 19), declined to name the purchaser. However, it hinted that the sale would be followed by others, given that at least 20 Japanese drugmakers use at least one Simulations Plus product.
Boulder, Colorado-based MICRO ANALYSIS & DESIGN, INC. has released its general-purpose simulator, Micro Saint, through distributor CYBERNET SYSTEMS CO., LTD. Version 3.0 adds more automatic tools and processes to speed creation of simulator parameters. That is performed through a graphical user interface and flow charts. Improved tools for optimizing models and presenting them also have been added. Micro Saint 3.0 runs under Windows 95/98/NT. The program has a base price of $12,900, although it costs $2,500 for educational institutions.
MICROSOFT CORP. has acquired a 20 percent stake in CIS CORP., a Tokyo producer of business productivity software. This marked the first time that the software king bought into a Japanese company. CIS's products currently integrate only with LOTUS DEVELOPMENT CORP.'s Notes groupware. But with Microsoft becoming its second- largest shareholder, CIS has announced that its add-ons soon will work with Microsoft's Exchange family of products. Microsoft wants to push Exchange's market share in Japan past current number-one Notes within six months.
To boost sales to corporate customers, SYMANTEC CORP.'s subsidiary introduced a new licensing system. A master installation CD-ROM will be sold for $25, but a separate licensing fee will be calculated based on the number of end-users. The license can be purchased over the telephone or the Internet, simplifying sales to both large and small companies.
An exchange rate of ¥120=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa