Japan-US Business Report Logo

No. 357, June 1999

Issue Index aaaaa Subscriber Area

American Companies in Japan


SOFTWARE AND INFORMATION SERVICES

Japan's large golfing community is a natural target for CHIPSHOT.COM INC.'s first international Web site: a fully localized virtual store offering tour-quality golf equipment, accessories and information. Besides providing brand-name clubs with price quotes in yen, the new site touts its "Perfect Fit" system for ordering tour-quality clubs built to an individual's physique and skill level. The Japanese version of chipshot.com is featured on LYCOS JAPAN K.K.'s Internet portal. The partners have agreed to generate traffic for each other's Web pages.

Taking aim at on-line shoppers and gamers, EUNIVERSE, INC. has teamed with US-STYLE.COM INC. to localize the Wallingford, Connecticut firm's CDUniverse on-line retailing property. US- Style.com already operates a virtual mall of American stores and services, and it recently launched on YAHOO! JAPAN CORP.'s portal. It will work with eUniverse to bring its on-line commerce, community, technology and entertainment offerings to Japanese users. Of particular interest most likely will be a Japanese version of eUniverse's "event" gaming site, where players can enter tournaments, game ladders, forums and chat rooms.

To enhance the appeal of its new on-line automotive sales Web site, CARPOINT JAPAN K.K. has struck an exclusive deal with a local used-car auctioneer to provide pricing information. Owned by SOFTBANK CORP. (50 percent), MICROSOFT CORP. (40 percent) and YAHOO! JAPAN CORP. (10 percent) (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 355, April 1999, p. 25), CarPoint Japan and USS K.K. will establish a 40/60 joint venture to manage the agreement and to run the new site, which went live in June. CarPoint Japan is a localized version of Microsoft's MSN CarPoint on-line automotive service. It is available through both the MSN Japan and the Yahoo! Japan portals.

The first company to provide an on-line business-to-business auction service to corporate customers (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 351, December 1998, p. 21) also is the first to use the Internet to offer consumers bargains on excess merchandise and services. ONSALE JAPAN K.K., owned by Menlo Park, California-based ONSALE, INC. and SOFTBANK CORP., initially has listed more than 1,000 computers and related products from the likes of Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Hitachi and NEC on its fully localized site. It intends to expand the computer product offerings and to add other product categories by yearend, including appliances and concert tickets.

ADVANCED MANUFACTURING ONLINE LTD. of Redwood City, California has opened an office in Tokyo to promote its ECnet supply chain management service. ECnet, which melds seamlessly with traditional electronic data interchange systems, handles price checks, order placement, shipping and billing through the Internet. With installation costs as low as $5,000 and monthly fees of about $100, AMO hopes to sign up midsized Japanese firms interested in taking advantage of the lower prices and the operating efficiencies that on-line procurement can yield. The Japanese-language version of ECnet should be up and running sometime in the fourth quarter.

IBM JAPAN LTD. also has jumped on the Internet EDI bandwagon, developing an on-line procurement system for internal use. The computer giant buys nearly $5 billion worth of materials and services each year from more than 3.800 vendors. The on-line ordering system not only could save IBM Japan an estimated $3.3 million annually by eliminating procurement support staff, but it also will lower costs by streamlining the procurement process. The on-line system, which will use XML technology, should be fully operational by April 2000 after a September launch.

Real estate prices are close to bottoming out after a steep plunge from their stratospheric heights of the late 1980s. That makes buying a house financially feasible for a broader range of Japanese. To help potential buyers get the best possible deal on a mortgage, E-LOAN, INC., the leading on-line mortgage broker, and the consumer finance unit of SOFTBANK CORP. have established a joint venture to serve as a low-cost channel for financial institutions to advertise their mortgage products and as a convenient way for consumers to compare a large number of loan options and, after making their selection, to handle the application process over the Internet. E-LOAN JAPAN K.K., in which Dublin, California E-LOAN has a 40 percent stake versus a 60 percent share for SOFTBANK FINANCE CORP., also will serve mortgage customers in South Korea. A portion of its Web site will be devoted to car loans — another financial product enjoying the benefits of Tokyo's financial liberalization program. Through a pair of U.S. subsidiaries, Softbank is a minority partner in two-year-old E-LOAN. They joined two other investors in a September 1998 second round of financing that raised $25.4 million.

The international debut of DIRECTADVICE.COM CORP.'s on-line personal financial planning services will occur in Japan. The Hartford, Connecticut start-up and SOFTBANK CORP.'s consumer finance subsidiary have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture to develop and deliver financial advice and information over the Internet in Japan as well as in South Korea. As early as December and for as little as $75 a year, consumers will be able to access a localized version of DirectAdvice.com's services for personalized, objective advice on how to manage their money. Earlier this year, Softbank's U.S. holding company took a minority position in DirectAdvice.com (formerly Mentum Corp.) (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 354, March 1999, p. 9).

As these examples indicate, Internet fever is just as epidemic in Japan as it is in the United States. Providing further proof of this reality, MARSH & MCLENNAN COS., INC., the parent of the world's leading risk and insurance services firm, and MICROSOFT CORP. have decided to take equity positions in INSWEB JAPAN K.K., which plans to begin selling insurance products on- line late this year. The nascent Japanese Web insurer currently is owned by Redwood City, California-based INSWEB CORP. (40 percent) and SOFTBANK CORP. (60 percent) (see Japan- U.S. Business Report No. 352, January 1999, p. 7). Marsh & McLennan will acquire a 20 percent interest in InsWeb Japan and Microsoft a 2 percent interest. Those transactions will trim InsWeb's share to 25 percent and Softbank's to 53 percent.

A broad strategic alliance between HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. and NTT-ME CORP. promises to simplify the task of introducing complete multimedia services to Japanese companies. With HP Japan contributing its hardware and software expertise and the new subsidiary of NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORP. providing the sales, marketing and customer support muscle, the partners intend to provide soup-to-nuts planning, development, implementation and maintenance of a full range of electronic information services. Their first offering most likely will be turnkey electronic commerce services for small companies, with systems maintenance and support to follow soon after. The HP Japan/NTT-ME tie-up comes on the heels of the computer company's agreement to work with KDD CORP. on SCM solutions for the distribution industry (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 356, May 1999, p. 27). Its thrust mirrors that of a comprehensive service introduced recently by competitor NIHON UNISYS, LTD. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 356, May 1999, p. 24).

Top

COMPAQ COMPUTER CORP.'s subsidiary and KDD CORP. have reengineered the American firm's MilliCent electronic commerce transaction settlement system to facilitate small purchases over the Internet. To address consumers' concerns about privacy and security, MilliCent uses a "digital wallet" system, which safely stores credit-card, bank account and other sensitive personal information on a secure server. The modified e-commerce payment system will be featured first on a 15-store Internet mall run by a KDD affiliate. It will be the first time MilliCent is commercially deployed.

A complementary Internet security program comes from VERISIGN, INC.'s Japanese operation. Priced from $14,500, Secure Server ID assures on-line customers and business partners that they truly are dealing with the company they think they are, preventing Internet fraud and deceptions. Mountain View, California VeriSign's digital certificates also serve as encryption keys, again helping to allay users' privacy concerns.

As the "Internet portal" model begins to take hold in Japan, ENCOMMERCE, INC. expects demand to blossom for its getAccess portal security program. Therefore, the Santa Clara, California firm has established a wholly own subsidiary in Tokyo, its first overseas outpost. Distributed by OSAKA GAS INFORMATION SYSTEM RESEARCH INSTITUTE and MI-TSUBISHI CORP. and already used by several major companies (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 356, May 1999, p. 24), getAccess has been available in Japanese since April 1997. It will be updated to version 3.0J this fall. enCommerce counts among its investors both of its Japanese distributors and several other local firms.

The subsidiary of Menlo Park, California-based INFORMIX CORP. plans to release a Japanese- language version of its i.Sell Web site and e-commerce construction package this fall. Localization work should be completed by September, allowing a sales campaign aimed at financial institutions, communications companies and manufacturers to begin as early as October.

The latest version of software to automate and simplify the management of e-business applications is now available from Mountain View, California-based MARIMBA, INC. through its trio of distributors: FUJITSU, LTD., HITACHI, LTD. and ITOCHU TECHNO-SCIENCE CORP. Besides being fully localized, Castanet 4.0.1 offers strong encryption and authentication to protect the integrity and the confidentiality of information traveling through a Web portal. It also includes software modules that allow Web applications to be published, maintained and updated automatically. Castanet already has been deployed by SONY CORP. as well as by Fujitsu.

Another competitor in the Internet security arena, INFORMATION RESOURCE ENGINEERING, INC., and its distributor, MITSUBISHI CORP., are offering newly localized versions of the Baltimore firm's virtual private network software. SafeNet/Soft and SafeNet/Smart are aimed at giving nontechnical users access to IPSec-certified VPN services. SafeNet/Soft runs on PCs as an easy-to-use desktop utility, while SafeNet/Smart offers the additional security of smart- card authentication at both ends of the VPN connection.

Fremont, California's AMPLIFY.NET, INC. has brought its iSurf family of bandwidth management programs to Japan through distributor TAKACHIHO KOHEKI CO., LTD. Written for the heavy demands of ISPs, iSurf modules integrate bandwidth provisioning, prioritizing and metering with such back-office applications as usage accounting, customer billing and capacity scheduling. With prices starting as low as $14,200, Takachiho Koheki is promoting iSurf as an affordable, flexible and customizable end-to-end solution for this increasingly important ISP service.

MICROSOFT CORP.'s subsidiary has released a localized version of its latest PC operating system, Windows 98 Second Edition. The update fixes many bugs as well as offers a number of improvements, particularly in the area of Internet-related functions, and integration with Microsoft's dominant office productivity suite. .....Firing right back, the marketing arm of APPLE COMPUTER, INC. rolled out a Japanese version of its most advanced operating system for the Macintosh computer line. Mac OS 8.6 offers better power management for laptop machines and an improved intranet/Internet search engine known as Sherlock.

Thanks to the digital revolution, operating systems for PCs are not the only hotly contested part of this market. FLASHPOINT TECHNOLOGY, INC. has opened a Tokyo branch office to support marketing and sales of its Digita OS for digital cameras (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 352, January 1999, p. 21). Although it already has technology alliances with MINOLTA CORP., SEIKO EPSON CORP. and SHARP CORP., the San Jose, California firm hopes that Digita will penetrate the even bigger digital imaging market that includes printers, scanners and other imaging devices.

With less than six months to go before the millennium, NOVELL, INC.'s subsidiary has opened a center to help users of its software analyze and repair Y2K problems. Technicians will visit customers' facilities to inspect for potential problems. The local Novell unit also has created a Y2K response team, Project 2000, to address this issue. .....Meanwhile, IBM JAPAN LTD. has been selected to analyze and fix remaining Y2K issues in the computer systems of SURUGA BANK, LTD. The midsized regional bank, which operates in Shizuoka and Kanagawa prefectures and in the Tokyo metropolitan area, began Y2K work in the fall of 1996, first targeting its mainframe applications. IBM Japan will handle final checks of Suruga Bank's systems as well as provide contingency planning and support. The bank expects to exceed its $8.2 million budget for Y2K preparations by $2.9 million by the time December 31, 1999 arrives.

UNISCAPE, INC. is claiming a key role in the internationalization and then the localization of LYCOS, INC.'s MailCity free e-mail service. The Redwood Shores, California company not only translated all MailCity interfaces and pages into Japanese, but it also reworked the system so that it can easily adapt to other languages as well. Uniscape hopes its work with Lycos will attract other Japanese firms interested in globalizing their software products.

The latest version of SYMANTEC CORP.'s popular integrated development environment for Java- language programs is on the market. The $3,000 VisualCafé Enterprise Suite provides powerful tools to develop and deploy Java-based enterprise applications. An affiliate of SOFTBANK CORP. is handling local distribution of the Java IDE.

As enterprise applications grow in complexity and size, a software development tool from SOFTWARE EMANCIPATION TECHNOLOGY, INC. can help code writers keep a firm grasp on the big picture. The Burlington, Massachusetts firm's DISCOVER development information system captures the interrelationships among all entities in the source code base and provides a clear view and high-level architectural perspective of the entire application. Software Emancipation Technology tapped OSAKA GAS INFORMATION SYSTEM RESEARCH INSTITUTE to handle sales and integration of DISCOVER.

Top

To ensure 24x7 availability of complex enterprise applications, local developers now can enjoy the benefits of MERCURY INTERACTIVE CORP.'s newest testing and performance evaluation software. TestSuite Enterprise 5.0 includes the Sunnyvale, California firm's LoadRunner 5.0 (load testing and performance bottleneck isolation), TestDirector 5.0 (test planning, execution and defect tracking) and WinRunner 5.0 (functional testing, such as Java applets and Euro conversion algorithms). Mercury Interactive's subsidiary priced the package at $5,700.

DYNASTY TECHNOLOGIES INC. has jumped into the Japanese market for application development software by opening a subsidiary in Tokyo in partnership with COMPUTER INSTITUTE OF JAPAN, LTD. The Kingwood, Texas firm hit the ground running, offering localized versions of its entire Dynasty Development Environment suite as well as documentation and training courses in Japanese. CIJ not only will help market Dynasty but also is ready to provide development and integration services using Dynasty for large corporate projects.

A program-installer development package from INSTALLSHIELD SOFTWARE CORP. of Schaumburg, Illinois is part of a wave of products designed to make using computers simpler and easier. InstallShield Express 2.1, available for $6,700 through NETSERVE INC., allows Windows developers to create graphical user interface-based program installers that use wizards to help PC owners make proper configuration decisions. InstallShield Express supports many popular programming tools. It also offers native support for foreign languages, including double-byte ones such as Japanese.

To further boost sales of its flagship groupware, LOTUS DEVELOPMENT CORP.'s subsidiary is offering special prices on 10-client packages of its recently released Notes R5/Domino R5 client-server package (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 355, April 1999, p. 28). A 10- pack of Notes licenses, a single Domino license and a single license for Domino Developer runs $3,100, putting it within the reach of small companies. .....Through its marketing unit, LOTUS DEVELOPMENT CORP. also released several add-ons and utilities to enhance the Notes/Domino environment. First, Domino.Doc R2.1 extends Internet-based document archiving and management functions to the Domino server. It is priced at $18,300. Next, a new middleware module makes it easy to link Notes/Domino to popular accounting and payroll packages, including those from OBIC BUSINESS CONSULTANT CO., LTD., OTSUKA SHOKAI CO., LTD. and PCA CORP. for just $1,600. The version for MIROKU JYOHO SERVICE CO., LTD.'s accounting software costs $4,100. Lastly, the Lotus subsidiary and NTT MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK, INC. have released software for cellular and PHS (personal handyphone system) Notes clients that minimizes their need to spend time on-line with central servers. Domino Mobile Server R1.0, which costs $2,100 per license, works tightly with special Notes clients, each of which is less than $40, to send and receive only relevant information that has been modified since the client last logged in.

A new competitor in the groupware space is OPEN TEXT CORP., which chose CANON SALES CO., INC. to localize and distribute its collaborative knowledge management application. The Chicago firm's Livelink package allows knowledge workers to share information easily, collaborate on projects and reuse strategies and documents developed previously by coworkers. The pair already has convinced HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. to adopt Livelink internally, a decision in line with agreements between Open Text and HEWLETT-PACKARD CO. in the United States and Europe.

Through its subsidiary, APPLE COMPUTER, INC. localized the latest version of its intranet server suite, AppleShare IP 6.2. The package includes application and data base services as well as file, print and e-mail modules. It also offers much-improved performance over TCP/IP and mixed protocol networks. AppleShare IP 6.2 pricing starts in Japan at $485 for a 10-client license.

ADVENTNET, INC. has adapted its Web-based network administration package — AdventNet Web- NMS — for Japanese speakers. In turn, distributor NK-EXA CORP. built its $2,400 AdminCenter 1.2J network administration solution around WebNMS. The Edison, New Jersey company's product is a modular Java-based toolkit for building custom element and network management systems.

NEXTPOINT NETWORKS selected HUCOM INC. to bring its application-to-network performance management package to the local market. NextPoint S3 analyzes end-to-end service levels and isolates performance bottlenecks. The suite's tools then allow network managers to make and implement informed decisions about network services and resource allocations. Hucom priced the Westford, Massachusetts firm's product at $18,900. It sees sales quickly expanding to $8.2 million a year.

NETIQ CORP. and FUJITSU, LTD. have linked up to provide a competing product, SystemWalker/AppManager for BackOffice. Aimed at networks controlled by Windows NT and running Microsoft's BackOffice suite, the package integrates the Santa Clara, California firm's AppManager application performance monitor with Fujitsu's SystemWalker network management solution. While Fujitsu claims more than 4,000 users for its SystemWalker package, it has set a sales goal of 30,000 units over the next three years for the $5,700 SystemWalker/AppManager pairing. NetIQ has a similar integration arrangement with HITACHI, LTD. on AppManager (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 354, March 1999, p. 25).

The local unit of NETWORK ASSOCIATES, INC. has developed a unique product that enhances the functionality and the performance of its parent's Total Virus Defense suite. Management Edition for TVD lets network administrators set enterprisewide policies and rules that govern the action of TVD on individual users' computers. The package integrates tightly with NAI's other antivirus products — WebShield, NetShield and GroupShield — allowing network managers to mount a complete defense against destructive computer programs introduced by internal or external agents. Management Edition costs $55 when purchased for 1,000 PCs.

EMC CORP. continues to cement its position as the premier enterprise-level information storage provider. Its latest product, EMC CopyPoint, extends the reach of its storage hardware and software down to midsized businesses that use IBM AS/400 systems. In conjunction with EMC's TimeFinder and Symmetric Remote Data Facility, CopyPoint allows AS/400 systems to read off-site copies of production system data as if they were the originals, helping to ensure continuous computer services. EMC's subsidiary priced CopyPoint from $54,700.

Challengers in the corporate data storage arena continue to emerge, such as VERITAS SOFTWARE CORP. Along with marketing partner TOKYO ELECTRON LTD., the Mountain View, California firm is offering its full line of storage management software. TEL expects sales of VERITAS products to generate $82 million over the next three years. .....Also entering this ring are BMC SOFTWARE, INC. and HITACHI, LTD. They have agreed to jointly develop and market storage solutions that offer enterprise customers fast backup and high-level data-sharing solutions for heterogeneous environments. These products, to be released throughout the year, will be marketed via each partner's distribution channels. Houston-headquartered BMC recently formed a business unit focused on enterprise storage management and application recovery.

The subsidiaries of MOBIUS MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, INC. and STORAGE TECHNOLOGY CORP. have teamed up to deliver the former's electronic document warehouse package to the Japanese market. The Mobius EDW is an integrated suite of modules that archive and cross-index documents in different formats on a wide variety of media and computer platforms, making the information accessible to all users regardless of hardware or software differences. The partnership represents another step in Mobius Management Systems' plan to expand its presence in Japan. The Rye, New York company recently opened a wholly owned marketing subsidiary (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 356, May 1999, p. 27).

Top

Competition in this market segment is hot, however. For instance, INFORMATICA CORP. is rolling out a pair of data warehouse products in partnership with MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORP. The new business allies will adapt for the local market the Palo Alto, California firm's PowerCenter — an enterprise data integration hub that enables large organizations to easily transform legacy, relational and enterprise resource planning data into reliable information for business analysis — and its PowerMart integrated tool suite for designing, deploying, managing and maintaining line-of-business data marts and analytic applications. MELCO then will bundle Informatica's products with its own DIAPRISM hardware/software data warehouse fast sorting and data base scanning technology. The English-language version of the package will be available in mid-September. A Japanese-language release will follow at an unspecified date.

To keep track of the vast number and variety of information stored in a data warehouse and temporary information created by data base and other applications, NCR CORP.'s local unit wrote Teradata MetaData Services. MDS gathers, indexes and makes available the torrent of information tidbits generated each day by a company's computer systems and programs. In conjunction with analysis programs, MDS can become a key planning resource for executives and sales agents. With prices starting at $39,300, NCR's subsidiary expects to sell 1,000 MDS systems a year.

IBM JAPAN LTD. now is shipping a localized version of the latest release of the venerable DB2 data base. DB2 Universal Database v6.1 offers new features to meet the rapidly changing needs of corporate customers: support for Java, connectivity with ERP packages, backing for e- business programs and a small-footprint client for mobile users. Three versions of the package have been released for different size customers, spanning one for mobile customers, a workgroup edition that costs $860 and up and an enterprise package priced from $10,700.

Through its subsidiary, SYBASE, INC. has released an update of its relational data base management system, Sybase Adaptive Server IQ12. Priced from $41,200 (a three-user license for Windows NT environments) to $71,200 (a five-user license for Unix systems), the RDBMS has been thoroughly reworked with enterprise decision support in mind. The new package sports greatly increased scalability to backstop large data warehouses as well as big user populations.

Data base heavyweight ORACLE CORP. is not taking these developments lightly. Its subsidiary has introduced packages that keep the company's flagship Oracle8 and Oracle8i RDBM systems at the heart of rapidly changing corporate business activities. Oracle Developer 6.0, Oracle Developer Server 6.0 and Oracle Designer 6.0 let companies create business intelligence front-end applications for Oracle8 and Oracle8i that are Internet-savvy and accessible to nontechnical users yet harness all the power of the underlying data base systems.

Developing and delivering business-knowledge solutions is the aim of a new three-year pact between DATAWARE TECHNOLOGIES, INC. and FUJITSU BUSINESS SYSTEMS LTD. The Cambridge, Massachusetts firm has made FBS its master distributor in Japan. It will begin selling localized versions of Dataware Knowledge Management Suite 2.0J in August, both directly to its own customers and by developing a reseller network. The first module to be rolled out will be Knowledge Query Server Japan, which enables collaborative searches of data warehouses as well as searches of Internet-based resources. Fujitsu Business Systems also will provide consulting, system design, development and operational support.

A software package from INDUS INTERNATIONAL promises to help Japanese companies with the difficult process of reengineering their business processes to meet today's rapidly changing competitive environment. KOA OIL CO., LTD., a CALTEX CORP. affiliate, has decided to deploy the Indus Solution Series to deal with the fallout from the deregulation of Japan's oil industry by getting a better grip on its refining and storage operations. Koa Oil chose the San Francisco company's enterprise asset management solution based on Indus' experience with the special needs of the oil and gas industry as well as the positive results the software has produced at Caltex operations around the world. Koa Oil is aiming for full implementation of the EAM program by early 2000.

Another business reengineering tool is available from REMEDY CORP. The Mountain View, California firm's Action Request System allows corporate managers to track, control and automate a diverse range of business tasks, such as help-desk requests, systems management, customer relations and purchase orders. AR System 4.0.2, which fully supports the double- byte Japanese language, lets users impose their own business rules to direct corporate activities. Remedy's products are used by some 200 clients in Japan and are distributed and supported by more than 30 local partners.

HYPERION SOLUTIONS CORP.'s subsidiary has named a seventh company to distribute Hyperion Enterprise (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 354, March 1999, p. 27). INFORMATION SERVICES INTERNATIONAL-DENTSU, LTD. set up a dedicated six-person consulting and sales team to handle its new job. It has priced the departmental-level package at $180,300. Hyperion Enterprise pulls together the many components of project management, helping coworkers to collaborate and managers to smooth the workflow.

COMPAQ COMPUTER CORP.'s subsidiary will sell, install and support GEOTEL COMMUNICATIONS CORP.'s full line of customer-interaction software solutions. The computer vendor will integrate the Lowell, Massachusetts firm's Intelligent CallRouter, Network Intelligent CallRouter, Site ICR and full line of desktop computer-telephony integration programs into its own customer call-center solutions. Compaq hopes that GeoTel's software will allow it to seamlessly mesh front-office and back-office applications to provide even better customer service.

An alliance aimed at leveraging the benefits of cutting-edge electronic imaging technologies to the newspaper industry has been formed by ADOBE SYSTEMS, INC. and FUJITSU, LTD. The deal brings together Adobe's publishing and multimedia software expertise with Fujitsu's knowledge of newspaper pro-duction equipment. Based on Adobe's Photoshop image editing program. the new partners' initial goal is to create a system that can handle huge numbers of electronic images and interface directly with newspaper production equipment made by Fujitsu and other firms.

The growing power of PCs is illustrated by a new, high-precision clock and timing engineering analysis package from AMHERST SYSTEMS ASSOCIATES, INC. The Amherst, Massachusetts firm's M1 Time-Interval Measurement Standard and Serial Data packages run on Windows-based PCs, yet they can conduct sophisticated analyses of factors that produce even tiny errors in the high- speed clock systems that are critical to modern computers and data communications systems. ASA's products will be distributed and supported exclusively by TOYO CORP. It expects to sell between 100 and 200 copies of ASA's packages at prices from $8,300.

LOTUS DEVELOPMENT CORP.'s marketing unit hopes to breathe life into its venerable 1-2-3 spreadsheet program by releasing an update in July. 1-2-3 2000 offers improved compatibility with Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet and Word word-processing programs, bigger data sheets and premade sheets for business applications. The new program also is Internet- savvy, being able to upload and download data from the Web with just a few mouse clicks. As a standalone product, 1-2-3 2000 will retail for $165, but it is a better deal when purchased for $205 as part of the Lotus SuperOffice 2000 bundle.

Hoping to make its 3D animation graphics package the standard in Japan's engineering schools, AVID TECHNOLOGY, INC.'s subsidiary has served up a special version of SOFTIMAGE. SOFTIMAGE|3D GT for Students retails for about $1,000 — a sixth the price of the previous low-end version, which is aimed at small businesses (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 351, December 1998, p. 25) — yet it retains most of the commercial package's features and power.

Top

ADOBE SYSTEMS, INC. has localized the latest version of its Internet-essential electronic document software, Acrobat 4.0. The update makes it much easier for workgroups to develop, create and post electronic documents in Adobe's portable document format to the Internet — a major expansion beyond the single-user limits of previous editions. Although retail prices are not fixed, it is likely that the Japanese version of Acrobat will sell for about the same amount as in the United States, which is generally $245 for an upgrade from previous versions of Acrobat to about twice this for a full package.

For its part, APPLE COMPUTER, INC. has released a Japanese version of its ColorSync hue- matching utility. Version 2.6.1 offers greater control and broader compatibility with commercial prepress and color separation standards. Moreover, it still is available at no cost through an Internet download.

IBM JAPAN LTD. has adapted its parent's popular ViaVoice 98 speech input software to handle the norms and the practices of the Japanese market. ViaVoice 98 Friendly Speak sells alone for $150, but it also comes with a special bundle costing $60 that includes a noise-reducing microphone and special software developed with JUSTSYSTEM CORP. The software allows users to access Justsystem's JustNet Internet service with voice commands.

The popularity of Microsoft productivity software continues to invite attacks from computer virus makers. SYMANTEC CORP.'s subsidiary has put on the market a new antivirus utility that protects Microsoft's PowerPoint presentation package. Virus creators have been getting into PowerPoint through the back door, launching attacks from Excel and Word files. Symantec says that its special version of Norton Antivirus can defeat the Tristate and the Triplicate macroviruses that recently have appeared.

UNISYS CORP.'s local software writers have produced an update to their specialized version of the CADCEUS computer-aided engineering program for injection-mold makers. The improvements on the 2.0 version of CADCEUS MoldDesign (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 349, October 1998, p. 26) were developed with the help of NISSEI PLASTIC INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. The Unisys subsidiary hopes to sell 500 copies of the $35,200 CADCEUS MoldDesign v2.1 package in the first year.

A new version of COCREATE SOFTWARE INC.'s popular ME10 2D and 3D CAD program is now available from the local office of the HEWLETT-PACKARD CO. subsidiary. Version 9.0 runs entirely under Windows and offers an enhanced interface and faster rendering. At $4,900 and up, it also improves on the price/performance ratio of previous versions of ME10 for Unix- based systems. A new ME10 Viewer, which lists for $615, debuted along with the CAD program. It is intended to make the final results of ME10 available to a wider range of users. The marketing unit of Fort Collins, Colorado-based CoCreate Software expects to sell as many as 6,000 copies of ME10 v9.0 annually.

THINK3 of Santa Clara, California has entered the CAD/CAE market in cooperation with distributor ANDOR CO., LTD. think3 is touting the low price — $8,000 — and high functionality of its thinkdesign package. This software is based on the Eureka Gold CAD system it sold in its former incarnation as CadLab, Inc. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 355, April 1999, p. 30).

The subsidiary of CAD powerhouse AUTODESK, INC. rolled out graphical add-ons for several of its strong-selling products, including Genius+ for AutoCAD R14, Genius+ for Mechanical Desktop3 and Genius LT for AutoCADLT98. Also debuting were new versions of Autodesk's core design package — AutoCAD2000 — and its map-specific package, AutoCADMap2000, which lists for $5,800. These updates offer greater integration with the Internet as well as greater compatibility with other CAD and graphics packages. At the same time that it released the add- ons, Autodesk's local unit enlisted a powerful partner — TOSHIBA CORP. — to distribute these products.

XILINIX, INC. has put on the market via its Tokyo unit new generations of its Alliance and Foundation series of electronic design automation tools. Alliance Series 2.1i is the first EDA program that can design field-programmable gate arrays with up to 2 million gates. It also delivers 50 percent faster compile times than the previous 1.5 version. The Alliance Series has been reworked as well to allow design teams to collaborate over the Internet. For its part, Foundation Series 2.1i integrates Xilinix's core generator with SYNOPSIS, INC.'s FPGA Express synthesis tools to provide fast compile times for high-performance programmable logic devices. This package goes for $4,900.

An electronic device simulator developed by EMULTEK LTD. is available now through KOBE STEEL, LTD. as well as from NIPPON SYSTEMWARE CO., LTD. The Pasadena, California company's RapidPLUS is part of both companies' portfolios of turnkey electronic device design solutions. RapidPLUS combines a user-friendly graphical interface with a powerful code- generation engine to create computer simulations of electronic devices that are as functional and interactive as the real items. The distribution arrangement with Kobe Steel will produce more than $500,000 in revenues for Emultek in 1999. That also is the minimum amount that the Nippon Systemware contract, which was signed in January, will generate this year.

SYNOPSIS, INC. and HITACHI, LTD. have agreed to jointly develop and distribute the first coverification models of Hitachi's popular SH3-DSP and SH-4 RISC processor cores. Engineers designing these chips into their products will be able to simulate hardware/software interactions with Synopsis' Eaglei coverification tool. The partners hope to have the first models ready by the third quarter of 1999.

In a major win for start-up TERA SYSTEMS INC., the Campbell, California firm has landed a contract to supply FUJITSU, LTD. with its full line of verification tools for system-on-a-chip designs. The TeraForm tool takes a high-level approach to SOC designs. That can help engineers pinpoint problems with placement and layout of whole components as well as tell them how these components interact with split-second timing. Fujitsu currently is qualifying TeraForm for its CS71 0.25-micron library. It expects to bring the Tera Systems tool to its IPSymphony SOC design system later this year.

In the meantime, LOGICVISION, INC. of San Jose, California licensed its SOC verification tools for embedding in FUJITSU, LTD.'s IPSymphony system. LogicVision and Fujitsu officials claim that this is a first in the industry. They add that it will greatly simplify the task of integrating and testing intellectual property cores from multiple sources within the virtual confines of the IPSymphony SOC design methodology.

VOYAN TECHNOLOGY has signed a multiyear development pact with semiconductor production equipment manufacturer TOKYO ELECTRON LTD. and affiliate TOKYO ELECTRON TOHOKU LTD. to integrate its thermal control software into the next generation of TEL batch furnaces. The proprietary version of Clairvoyant Control that the Santa Clara, California company comes up with should help TEL make furnaces with higher performance and lower cost of ownership. The first of these products, the Adaptive Thermal Processor, has a mid-July introduction date.

Helping to fuel the rapid advances in Japan's mobile communications market, QUALCOMM INC. has delivered its high-speed packet data solution to manufacturers of CDMA digital handsets. A complement to the company's MSM3000 baseband chipset, the MSM3000 system software enables suppliers to big cellular services providers DDI CORP. and NIPPON IDOU TSUSHIN CORP. to quickly add the ability to their MSM3000-based products to connect to the Internet at speeds up to 86.4 kilobits per second without new or additional hardware. Before the end of this year, DDI and IDO (as it is generally known) expect to enable high-speed packet data for subscribers to their cdmaOne services.

An exchange rate of ¥122=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa

Top aaaaa Issue Index aaaaa Subscriber Areaaaaa Home