The starting flag has dropped in the two-company race to capture the on-line automotive sales market in Japan. By start-up in mid-November, CARPOINT JAPAN K.K. had lined up eight manufacturers, including NISSAN MOTOR CO., LTD., MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORP., MAZDA MOTOR CORP. and FORD MOTOR CO., and roughly 800 participating dealerships. For now, only information on new cars and light trucks will be available at the CarPoint Japan site, but early in 2000, the company plans to expand into used vehicles. Right before the launch of the site, SEVEN-ELEVEN JAPAN CO., LTD. acquired a 10 percent stake in the Internet vehicle broker by buying shares from each of CarPoint Japan's founders: SOFTBANK CORP. (now 45 percent), MICROSOFT CORP. (37 percent) and YAHOO! JAPAN CORP. (8 percent) (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 358, July 1999, p. 25). Although details still need to be decided, CarPoint Japan will provide content for Seven-Eleven Japan's planned virtual convenience store.
Actually, competitor AUTOBYTEL.COM INC. got a slightly faster start. Ahead of its November 1 launch, it had signed up approximately 200 dealers around Japan, including some in the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya areas that sell Nissan, Honda, Subaru and Isuzu vehicles. Stores handling Ford, Jaguar and Volvo products also are participating in the localized version of Autobytel.com. Like its rival, the e-commerce site will offer used vehicles and other services in 2000 (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 361, October 1999, p. 25).
The firm that E-LOAN, INC. formed last spring with SOFTBANK CORP.'s consumer finance unit (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 357, June 1999, p. 23) will help people who buy cars and trucks through VERTEX VISION INC.'s on-line used-vehicle auctions to arrange financing. A localized version of the Dublin, California firm's virtual loan broker takes information about the vehicle, lets users choose insurance options, calculates likely premiums and submits loan applications to finance companies.
In their continuing effort to make the Web part of everyday life, the subsidiaries of MICROSOFT CORP. and EXCITE, INC. have banded together to revamp the software giant's on-line personal finance products. The MSN Money section of Microsoft's MSN home page has been reworked with the ongoing liberalization of Japan's financial markets in mind. Microsoft also released the companion Money 2000 package, which integrates closely with MSN Money, for $65 or $110, depending on the version.
The Japanese-language version of Engineering Information Village, ENGINEERING INFORMATION INC.'s on-line engineering information data base and portal, is up and running (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 360, September 1999, p. 23). The Hoboken, New Jersey company engaged IRM, INC. to handle marketing and membership administration. That Tokyo-headquar-tered marketing and public relations firm helped Engineering Information Village editors develop the Japanese edition. IRM also will ensure that the English-language content continuously being added to the portal has headings and descriptive information in Japanese.
ADOBE SYSTEMS, INC.'s Tokyo unit is shipping a Japanese version of its Web and software solution for sharing photographs and digital images. The ActiveShare software package lets users move photos from a digital camera or a scanner to the Web with one-click simplicity. Once uploaded to the Japanese section of the ActiveShare.com Web site, the images easily can be viewed on-line or downloaded by family and friends. The software can be downloaded from the ActiveShare. com home page or purchased on a CD-ROM directly from Adobe for about $25.
Japanese movie buffs are the target audience of BIG ENTERTAINMENT, INC.'s Hollywood.com Web site. Reachable through YAHOO! JAPAN CORP.'s Internet portal, the site initially is selling merchandise tied in with popular movies, entertainment and pop culture. Boca Raton, Florida-based Big Entertainment is working with partner US-STYLE.COM INC. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 357, June 1999, p. 22) to localize the site's movie information content, including reviews, celebrity interviews, box office results and movie trailers.
With Japanese mobile phone users rushing to embrace wireless Web browsing, MOBIUS MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, INC. is hurrying to make its document archiving and retrieval software Internet-friendly. The Rye, New York firm has signed up NTT COMMUNICATIONWARE CORP. to distribute and support its Mobius ViewDirect technology, which can handle high-volume document storage, access and distribution over the Internet and corporate intranets (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 357, June 1999, p. 26). NTT Communicationware is the third company to work with Mobius Management's wholly owned Tokyo subsidiary, joining KANEMATSU ELECTRONICS LTD. and STK JAPAN, INC.
Distributing electronic documents and data via the Internet also is the forte of TUMBLEWEED COMMUNICATIONS CORP.'s Integrated Messaging Exchange package but with the added feature of top-flight security (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 358, July 1999, p. 26). The Redwood City, California firm's latest customer is ASIA SECURITIES PRINTING CO., LTD., which will build its ASPNET secure electronic delivery service on Tumbleweed's IME platform. ASP prints financial materials required by Japan's Commercial Code and Securities and Exchange Law and naturally is interested in secure electronic document delivery.
Under Tokyo's "E-Government" plan, most license and permit applications, requests for information and public notices will be handled on-line by FY 2003. UNISYS CORP.'s subsidiary has rolled out an integrated suite of software and consulting services tailored specifically for this initiative. OnNet Government Solution 21 will evaluate the bureaucracy's legacy computer systems and information, determine the hardware and software required to implement the plan and coordinate operations among government agencies.
BEA SYSTEMS, INC. has fine-tuned its WebLogic Server 4.5 for dishing up e-commerce applications by adding Java2 Enterprise Edition modules. The object-oriented language offers ease of programming, support for a wide range of Internet standards, and enhanced reliability and scalability. The San Jose, California company expects the special version of WebLogic to retail for around $22,100. It will be available from all six of BEA Systems' distributors.
With companies rushing to embrace e-commerce, competition to provide consulting and support services for this market is intensifying. HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD., for example, is concentrating its efforts on a few partners, such as the subsidiary of ORACLE CORP. Just as their parents agreed to do in September, the Japanese units will bundle and market each other's products to boost sales of Internet-related HP hardware and Oracle software packages for e-commerce. .....In another tie-up, HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. is partnering with PSINET INC.'s subsidiary and MI-TSUBISHI CORP. to market, support and operate an e-commerce consulting and outsourcing business. EC Delivery 30 not only will set up Web sites and virtual stores for customers, but it also will handle back-end payment operations and the physical delivery of goods in 30 major cities.
Offering a more traditional menu of e-commerce consulting services are new partners ARTHUR D. LITTLE INC. and NTT SOFTWARE CORP. The two are banking on strategic business planning backed by the U.S. firm's management expertise plus NTT Software's enterprise-level computing experience to win clients in Japan's competitive market.
Also in this vein, the subsidiaries of Santa Clara, California-based NETWORK APPLIANCE, INC. and Houston's BMC SOFTWARE, INC. have teamed up with CSK CORP.'s network systems affiliate to construct and operate corporate Web sites for $1,900 to $4,700 a month. The CSK unit is building a new data center with plenty of storage and communications capacity to handle the 100 clients that the partners aim to cultivate in 2000. The group hopes to evolve into a full-fledged application service provider.
EPRISE CORP. and TEIJIN SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY LTD. are working to localize the Framingham, Massachusetts firm's Web site content-manage-ment package, hoping to have it ready for release during the first half of 2000. Eprise's Participant Server will form a key component of the TEIJIN LTD. subsidiary's Internet solutions business. By adding on-line purchasing and bidding systems for business-to-business e-commerce, the Teijin unit hopes to generate new sales of $9.4 million annually in three years.
To broaden its market base and brand-name recognition, EXCITE, INC.'s two-year-old subsidiary has begun customizing its powerful Internet search engine for corporate clients. For NIPPON TELEVISION NETWORK CORP., for example, it has developed automated search routines that appear as two icons on a user's computer desktop. One icon checks NTV's on-line data base for program schedules, while the other icon triggers a search of the Web for the same information. Redwood City, California-based Excite owns half of its subsidiary, with the remainder split by ITOCHU CORP. and DAINIPPON PRINTING CO., LTD.
Instant Internet messaging remains red hot in Japan a fact that led CYPOST CORP. to pay $3 million for PLAYA CORP., the developer of the popular Yabumi IM and electronic greeting card service. Dover, Delaware-based Cypost will add its expertise with broad-based privacy and security solutions for businesses and individuals to enhance Yabumi's already strong position in the Japanese IM market. One of NTT MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK, INC.'s regional affiliates recently purchased a 100,000-user license for the Yabumi technology.
To help boost the launch of E*TRADE JAPAN K.K.'s on-line brokerage service (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 361, October 1999, p. 21), BIGCHARTS INC. is integrating its interactive charting software with E*Trade's Web site. The Minneapolis firm's tools allow users to tap data from all eight of Japan's stock exchanges and primary market indexes to create technical analysis charts, performance comparison charts and price/data figures. The E*Trade deal is the first big venture into overseas markets for the wholly owned subsidiary of MARKETWATCH.COM, INC.
ALIVE.COM signed a strategic marketing and technology alliance with MITSUI COMTEK CORP. The MITSUI & CO., LTD. unit will handle all localization, marketing and after-sale support for Alive.com's multimedia-enabling technology for Web sites e-Show Engine and e-Show Wizards. The Seattle firm's packages allows Web site users to create multimedia-enhanced content, including integrating multimedia resources into existing on-line applications and developing entirely new content.
Similar in function but narrower in scope, software from MSLIDE, INC. lets users add music, text and other types of electronic media to digital images and then create and broadcast streaming slide shows over the Internet. The Sausalito, California company not only has opened a Japanese version of its MSlide.com Web site, but it has struck a deal with IPOPCORN, a Palo Alto, California-based developer and operator of Web sites for Asian and Asian-American youth. The MSlide Engine can be accessed through ipopcorn's sites in English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
AMERICA ONLINE, INC.'s subsidiary has rolled out the Japanese version of its latest Internet access package. AOL 5.0 runs on Windows-based machines, offering greater ease of use and faster performance. Also included in the upgrade are new versions of AOL Instant Messenger.
To pave the way for the development of a native application service provider market, more than 40 Japanese companies, including affiliates of American businesses, have formed the ASP Industry Consortium Japan. The organization has established formal ties to the Wakefield, Massachusetts-based ASP Industry Consortium, an international advocacy group that sponsors research, fosters standards and works to promote the emerging ASP field.
INTERTRUST TECHNOLOGIES CORP. agreed to let MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. use its digital rights management software to develop DRM-enabled products, including software music players and content-packaging tools. The Santa Clara, California firm's platform provides a common foundation for authors, publishers, enterprises and others to define rules for using digital information and deriving commercial benefits from digital intellectual property. MEI is participating in an electronic media distribution trial with AT&T CORP., BMG ENTERTAINMENT and UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 357, July 1999, p. 10). InterTrust already has relationships with these three companies.
Security services and software for e-commerce is another hot field in Japan. WATCHGUARD TECHNOLOGIES, INC. has added NEXTCOM K.K. of Tokyo to the list of network systems providers and Internet services providers that use its WatchGuard LiveSecurity for MSS software (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 360, September 1999, p. 24). NextCom will build its CyberWatch e-commerce security service around the Seattle firm's platform, including installation and management of firewalls, content filters, configuration administration and automatic software updating. Virtual private network services will be offered as well as a full palette of operations reports for $565 a month. INTERNET INITIATIVE JAPAN INC. also has adopted WatchGuard's LiveSecurity for MSS platform.
CISCO SYSTEMS, INC.'s unit has tied up with SECOM CO., LTD. to offer very secure electronic authentication services for e-commerce, especially among companies. Secom, which currently provides digital certificate authentication using ENTRUST TECHNOLOGIES INC.'s know-how (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 361, October 1999, pp. 26-27), will add another layer of protection by adopting Cisco's VPN technology and hardware.
The local arm of VERISIGN, INC., MITSUBISHI MATERIALS CORP. and TEIKOKU DATABANK, LTD. have released their jointly developed e-commerce back-end support system, COSMOSNET/EC. The service combines a corporate credit information data base and a digital certificate authority server to provide clients with a secure means of doing credit evaluations and sharing sensitive information.
Another name Japanese company has been sold on ENCOMMERCE, INC.'s Internet portal access management solution. FUJITSU, LTD. will integrate the Santa Clara, California firm's getAccess single sign-on system into its SystemWalker network management suite and public key infrastructure solutions for worldwide distribution. It hopes to generate $18.9 million over two years from using the enCommerce product. getAccess lets administrators tailor access to portal functions and resources to the specific needs of each user, creating a more individualized experience and enhancing security by preventing access to unused portal areas.
HNC SOFTWARE INC. has landed a major contract, signing the VISA Japan Association and its 41 members to use the Falcon fraud-detection software. The credit-card issuers have enlisted SUMITOMO CREDIT SERVICE CO., LTD. to handle transaction monitoring, antifraud intervention and card-activity reporting. Each member of the VISA Japan Association will pay Sumitomo Credit Service a fee for these services. San Diego, California-based HNC previously had licensed Falcon to a number of Japanese credit-card issuers, but this contract, valued around $3 million annually, is its largest to date.
An English version of Portland, Oregon-based TRIPWIRE SECURITY SYSTEMS, INC.'s network intrusion detection package is available through a KYOCERA CORP. affiliate for $1,200. Like other users of the package (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 356, May 1999, p. 26), that company will open a computer-communications center powered by TripWire and begin offering network security monitoring services. A Japanese version of TripWire is planned for release in February 2000.
RSA SECURITY INC.'s subsidiary released an Internet-friendly version of its BSAFE Crypto encryption engine for the C language. BSAFE Crypto-Ci allows software developers to embed in a wide range of applications an industrial-strength encryption engine that handles multiple algorithms and supports digital signatures and certificates, all important considerations in the e-commerce age. RSA expects to collect $47,200 in licensing fees for each application that incorporates BSAFE Crypto. .....Separately, RSA SECURITY INC. will merge its encryption software and e-certificate system marketing subsidiaries January 1 following the September consolidation of SECURITY DYNAMICS TECHNOLOGIES, INC. and its wholly owned RSA DATA SECURITY, INC. subsidiary. Before that occurs, Bedford, Massachusetts-headquartered RSA Security will buy out the 30 percent share of the encryption software marketer held by 12 Japanese companies, including NEC CORP. and SONY CORP. The merged subsidiary will operate under the name of RSA SECURITY JAPAN INC. In 2001, that business hopes to have sales of $18.9 million, double the 1998 total.
The Japanese market for the Linux open-source operating system continues to expand in size almost exponentially. TURBOLINUX, INC., which specializes in adapting the OS to the needs of users around the Pacific Rim, has announced what it is calling the world's largest commercial Linux deployment. SANYO ELECTRIC CO., LTD. will use TurboLinux's version in the projected 20,000 Newve medical workstations and related products that it expects to ship over the next four years. The San Francisco company worked with Sanyo Electric for almost a year to port, test and optimize the medical applications software for Linux. Under the terms of the deal, TurboLinux will provide ongoing technical services and support to Sanyo Electric and Newve customers.
LINUXONE, INC. of Mountain View, California is offering a competing Linux product through SRINET, INC. The Tokyo-based software distributor has nonexclusive rights to market the Japanese and Chinese versions of LinuxOne OS in Japan and China.
For its part, LINUXCARE, INC., which bills itself as the first company to offer comprehensive Linux technical services to multinationals, has landed a contract to provide in-depth technical support to developers at NEC CORP.'s systems integration subsidiary engaged in building Linux-based solutions. The San Francisco business will support all major distributions of the open-source OS in Japanese, including Red Hat, TurboLinux, Laser5, Caldera and others. NEC SOFTWARE, LTD. added Linux to its computing solution services in March 1999. .....Separately, LINUXCARE, INC. will certify INTER SPACE PLANNING CORP.'s Linux-based hardware and offer Linux support services. The first priority is to give the Tokyo-based firm's AQUILA server for small and midsize companies the Linux-compatibility stamp of approval of Linuxcare Labs. Next, the partners will train Inter Space Planning employees to provide front-line Linux support, which will be buttressed by Linuxcare's Level 3 behind-the-scenes technical expertise.
To maintain its leading position in the nascent market for eXtensible Markup Language programming tools, OBJECT DESIGN, INC. lined up a fifth distributor for its eXcelon wares (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 358, July 1999, p. 30). ITOCHU TECHNO-SCIENCE CORP. will support the Burlington, Massachusetts-based firm's XML development and run-time environment, focusing on helping Object Design's broad client base implement XML for e-commerce. .....Separately, OBJECT DESIGN, INC.'s subsidiary has tied up with Tokyo systems integrator EC-ONE, INC. to market and support its new data server software. Javlin is fully compliant with the Enterprise JavaBeans standard, easing its implementation in a wide range of companies with legacy and current computing hardware and software. It plugs into BEA SYSTEMS, INC.'s WebLogic server, making users of that package a primary target of EC-One's marketing effort. KASUMI CO., LTD., which operates supermarkets in the area north of Tokyo, already has chosen Javlin to manage its inventory and supply chain data.
HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. has released a new virtual machine of its Java work-alike, Chai. Chai Appliance Platform, which includes ChaiVM 4.0, is fine-tuned for developing and running Java programs on information appliances. Response speed in real-time applications has been cut to as little as 125 microseconds.
Targeting the market for embedded industrial/manufacturing computing, ACCELERATED TECHNOLOGY, INC. has ported its entire family of Nucleus PLUS real-time OS products to the Japanese µITRON (microITRON) operating system. This µIPLUS version of the Mobile, Alabama firm's software includes a real-time, multitasking kernel, TCP/IP support, a graphical user interface and a wide range of utilities and development tools. µIPLUS allows users to move their legacy applications to a wide range of embedded processors under a rare no-royalty license that matches µITRON's open-source nature. GRAPE SYSTEMS, INC. of Yokohama, which worked with Accelerated Technology, will begin marketing µIPLUS in late January. It has penciled in sales of 100 copies in the first year.
MICROWARE SYSTEMS CORP.'s subsidiary released a software driver development kit for intelligent home appliances designed to be networked via the IEEE 1394 high-speed data-transmission standard. Written with VICTOR CO. OF JAPAN, LTD.'s hardware development environment in mind, the Des Moines, Iowa firm's IEEE 1394 Driver SDK targets appliances with embedded PowerPC processors running Microware Systems' OS-9 real-time operating system.
UNISYS CORP.'s subsidiary and HITACHI, LTD. have teamed up to boost the open-computing solutions business of both companies. The two will mesh Unisys' Internet-enabled data analysis software with Hitachi's SCBank solutions development system to create more well-rounded products and services. Hitachi hopes the joint effort will double its solutions business to $2.3 billion by FY 2002.
In another powerful alliance, the subsidiaries of MICROSOFT CORP. and COMPAQ COMPUTER CORP. are jointly offering a fixed-call/fixed-price technical support plan for small business users of their software and hardware products. For $17,900 a year, clients can call on the partners' 24-hour support team up to 20 times. .....At the same time, MICROSOFT CORP.'s local operation announced plans to hire 200 experienced IT consultants by next June in order to expand technical support services for big corporate clients. General consultants and principal consultants able to use Microsoft products to develop, build and operate e-commerce systems will be lured with a $28,300 signing bonus, but they likely can get matching offers from other firms in Japan's highly competitive IT personnel market.
Even smaller American firms are willing to buy their way into Japan. Atlanta's GLOBAL A, INC., for example, has purchased for an undisclosed amount INFOCRAFT CO., LTD. The Tokyo-based software company designs, develops and maintains computer systems. Renamed GLOBAL A INFORMATION, INC., it has hired a president with 20 years of experience in banking systems software, perhaps indicating the new unit's future direction.
MAGIC SOFTWARE ENTERPRISES INC. also has acquired an instant market presence by assuming complete control of a joint venture with WACOM CO., LTD. After serving as the exclusive distributor of the Irvine, California company's Magic (or dbMagic, as it is known in Japan) rapid application development tool for more than a decade, Wacom took a 20 percent stake in a partnership with Magic Software last year (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 352, January 1999, p. 22). The joint venture has showed such promise ringing up $9.4 million in sales in just the first nine months of 1999 that Magic Software felt it was well worth the extra $3.6 million to buy Wacom's share. dbMagic users include FUJITSU, LTD., HITACHI, LTD., HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD. and MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD.
With corporate information systems, especially those supporting e-commerce, becoming increasingly critical, IT managers are demanding more sophisticated tools. In response, TIVOLI SYSTEMS INC. developed the Cross-Site family of Internet commerce management applications. These are designed to: manage and distribute information and applications; ensure reliability and availability; coordinate problem resolution; protect sensitive data from intrusion; build cooperative relationships with partners and service providers; improve customer service; and strengthen communications with business partners and customers. Available in English immediately for $7,500, Tivoli Cross-Site will be released in Japanese in early 2000.
BMC SOFTWARE, INC.'s subsidiary released a competing integrated management and availability solution for e-commerce under the e-vailability name. The Houston firm modified two of its mainstay products for e-commerce: the PATROL application service management system and the MAINVIEW mainframe monitoring and management software. A package of products, services and methodologies to optimize and maximize the uptime of computing resources Service Assurance Center for E-business is the third leg of BMC's e-commerce support triad.
A new entry in the enterprise IT management market comes from Morgan Hill, California-based DIVERSIFIED SOFTWARE SYSTEMS, INC. Long a strong presence in the U.S. mainframe software market, Diversified Software has modified its full product line for Japan, including PRO/JCL, DOCU/TEXT and JOB/SCAN (job control language software) as well as the INFO/X, INFO/XL and INFO/XL Enterprise application and systems management packages. Diversified Software picked CLC CORP. of Tokyo to distribute and support its products on an exclusive basis.
A rival enterprise IT management solution is on the market from TIVOLI SYSTEMS INC.'s sales unit. Available in a fully localized package, IT Director v2.11 provides first-class centralized control and applications reliability management for both corporations and small firms. A fully configured package with a 1,000-seat license costs $122,300, while a basic setup with 20 seats lists for $11,500.
Companies interested in outsourcing their enterprise IT management functions have a new option in TRANS COSMOS INC.'s Enterprise Infrastructure Management Service. This offering is built on PEREGRINE SYSTEMS, INC.'s InfraCenter for enterprise and workgroup platforms, which track and project the total cost of ownership of a firm's IT infrastructure. With its appeal to both large and small companies, Trans Cosmos hopes to record $47.2 million in sales of enterprise IT management software and services the first year.
COMPUTER ASSOCIATES INTERNATIONAL, INC. released four stand-alone network performance tracking and work-load administration packages. ScheduleIT common-process automation, WatchIT monitoring, AdviseIT network data and performance evaluation, and CommandIT single-console management are integrated with CA's Unicenter TNG enterprise IT management framework. They run on the Japanese version of the OpenVMS operating system. As part of this initiative, CA and COMPAQ COMPUTER CORP. created a center at the Islandia, New York company's subsidiary to test CA products installed on Compaq hardware. .....Separately, COMPUTER ASSOCIATES INTERNATIONAL, INC. announced that it had landed a contract to install its Unicenter TNG management system throughout the operations of NATIONAL HOUSE INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD., the fourth-largest maker of prefabricated housing in Japan and a MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. company. NHI has a mixed computing environment, including several Unix and Windows NT systems. It wanted to take advantage of advances in distributed, open computing while improving administration and minimizing retraining.
With telecommuting becoming more common, LOTUS DEVELOPMENT CORP.'s Japanese unit released a low-cost version of its client software for Notes R5. The $55 package allows users to link with their company's Notes/Domino systems from home, accessing files and running applications as if they were at their office desks. .....Similarly, NOVELL, INC.'s Tokyo subsidiary introduced a Japanese version of its NetWare Client 5.12 for Macintosh computers. The package allows Macs to integrate seamlessly into corporate NetWare systems. It also supports some of APPLE COMPUTER, INC.'s latest hardware and operating system software.
The subsidiaries of SYMANTEC CORP. and TIVOLI SYSTEMS INC. have teamed up to offer corporate customers an integrated network management and antivirus package. Symantec coupled its Norton AntiVirus Plus 5.0 tightly with Tivoli's IT Director systems administration package. It also automated many antivirus duties, such as downloading the latest virus definitions and patches. The Symantec unit will handle marketing of the $85 add-on.
The Storage Management Division of Dallas-based STERLING SOFTWARE, INC. has rolled out a Japanese version of its distributed data storage management package, SAMS:Vantage. Available from Sterling Software's subsidiary, this product has helped firms reduce the cost of managing their enterprise storage resources. With its new support for double-byte languages (such as Japanese) and ability to work over the Internet or intranet, SAMS:Vantage is ready for multinational users.
The market for sophisticated data backup software is heating up. COMPUTER ASSOCIATES INTERNATIONAL, INC. has tweaked its ARCserveIT family to work with the NetWare 5 network operating system. Prices range from $3,700 for an enterprise-level package to $1,900 for a workgroup version. Available as well are such add-ons as a RAID option ($1,900), tape library ($1,900) and remote client support ($925).
For its part, VERITAS SOFTWARE CORP. is pushing its Backup Exec network backup solutions. The Mountain View, California firm has renewed its distribution arrangements with FUJITSU, LTD. and NEC CORP. and signed new reseller pacts with FUJI XEROX CO., LTD. and NK-EXA CORP. VERITAS Software's utility runs on both Unix and Windows NT systems. A version for protecting distributed network storage systems is on the drawing board. .....VERITAS SOFTWARE CORP. also is offering through its subsidiary a new version of its backup utility for Windows NT workstations. BackUp Exec Desktop v4.2 automates the protection of client data, using peer-to-peer copying and scheduling. The package, which supports a wide range of devices to ensure compatibility, is priced at $90 for a single license, $780 for a 10-user pack and $2,800 for a 50-user bundle.
Last but not least, NETWORK INTEGRITY, INC. of Marlborough, Massachusetts has launched its automatic, all-the-time backup package by striking an exclusive distribution deal with SUMISHO ELECTRONICS CO., LTD. Running in the background, LiveVault provides continuous, real-time backups of Windows NT systems. It consequently reduces system administrators' work loads, eliminates system downtime to perform a dedicated backup and ensures up-to-the-moment data protection. Sumisho Electronics hopes to sell 200 of the $6,700 LiveVault packages the first year and 2,000 over three years.
ORACLE CORP.'s marketing unit has introduced version 4.0.8 of the popular Application Server, which boasts support for such Internet essentials as Enterprise JavaBeans and load balancing. Prices run from $23,600 for an enterprise version down to $7,300 for a small-business package. A plug-in that adds COBOL support will soon be available for $450.
In short order, JUSTSYSTEM CORP. announced a second deal to make its software work with packages from other vendors (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 361, October 1999, p. 26). This one involves LOTUS DEVELOPMENT CORP. The two plan a knowledge-management solution based on the Japanese firm's on-line analytical processing package and the American company's groupware system. For $18,900, users will get Justsystem's K-Navi OLAP engine and a 20-client license integrated with Lotus Development's popular Notes groupware. Supporting software, such as application development kits, are planned for release in the spring of 2000.
COMPUTER ASSOCIATES INTERNATIONAL, INC. has tied up with JGC INFORMATION SYSTEMS CO., LTD. to design, integrate and support corporate data base systems. As firms find it increasingly necessary to give suppliers, distributors, resellers and customers access to corporate data with appropriate controls, data base design has become highly complex. The new partners have opened the CA Enterprise Modeling Center, where CA's ERwin data base design tool is being deployed to develop supporting data bases. JGC Information Systems, which brings to the job its expertise in modeling, is distributing the solutions. The center also provides after-sale technical support.
An alternative approach to aggregating and presenting a corporation's various data resources comes from COHERA CORP. Its Cohera Federation System is a middleware product that transparently pools, integrates and displays enterprise and Web-based information regardless of format, platform or physical location. Cohera and exclusive distributor NICHIMEN DATA SYSTEMS CORP. will introduce the Hayward, California firm's localized know-how by first using it to develop on-line catalogs for e-commerce.
ORACLE CORP.'s subsidiary has landed an order for the Linux version of the Oracle8i Workgroup Server system from BANK OF TOKYO-MITSUBISHI, LTD. Japan's top commercial bank will use the Internet-en-abled, relational data base management package to overhaul key operations by the spring of 2001, including capital transactions and trading of foreign exchange and financial derivatives. Oracle is trumpeting the contract as the first step toward breaking SYBASE, INC.'s near-monopoly in the market for financial industry data base software.
The Japanese unit of NCR CORP. has rolled out a localized version of Teradata for Windows NT v3.0.1. The latest version of the enterprise-level data warehousing system brings massively parallel processing to the Windows NT data base market as well as NCR's patented BYNET technology, which adds even more scalability to the RDBM package. Pricing of the new Teradata version, including a NCR WorldMark 4800 enterprise server, start at $745,300.
Also at this level, INFORMIX CORP.'s subsidiary has delivered a version of the Informix Dynamic Server multimedia RDBM to a Japanese customer. At a cost of $943,400, NIKKAN SPORTS PRINTING CO., LTD. will have a system capable of handling any kind of digital information it needs to produce general, sports and specialty newsletters for its clients as well as 24-hour technical support.
SYMIX SYSTEMS, INC. has decided to bolster its alliance with MITSUI & CO., LTD. in the market for enterprise resource planning solutions. Although the trader has been distributing the Dublin, Ohio firm's products since 1995, the two decided that greater technical support would help boost sales. The result is a joint venture in which Symix Systems has an 85 percent share. The venture has an initial staff of 15 and a goal of building annual sales to $28.3 million in three years.
Not interested in ceding any ground, ORACLE CORP. plans to beef up the list of companies reselling and supporting its ERP solution, Oracle Applications. About 40 firms currently provide a full range of sales, licensing, consulting and integration services for Oracle Applications, but the Redwood Shores, California firm wants to add an equal number of partners whose primary focus will be boosting sales and not technical support. In addition, Oracle expects to triple its 350-person roster of Oracle-certified consultants.
COMPUTER ASSOCIATES INTERNATIONAL, INC. has formed an alliance with BAAN CO.'s local arm and EXE INC. to offer end-to-end design, installation and support for supply chain management solutions. The three will integrate CA's Unicenter TNG enterprise management framework with Baan's Supply Chain Solution and EXE's Nexus II integrated distribution management package to provide what they expect to be the most advanced solution available for SCM. CA will handle marketing duties, initially targeting manufacturing, logistics and services firms.
MICROSOFT CORP.'s operation is marketing the latest version of its integrated productivity suite. Priced at just $85, Microsoft Works 2000 has many built-in Internet functions, such as Internet access, documents with hyperlinks and even the ability to download data to cellular handsets. It also has more than 220 ready-made documents for such everyday needs as letters and golf score sheets. Microsoft Works 2000 includes as well a built-in help function that will lead computer novices through basic and advanced functions. Microsoft also is offering Works Suite 2000, which adds advanced image-processing and financial planning modules to the basic package.
The subsidiary of PHOTODISC, INC. continues to add to its library of royalty-free digital images on CD-ROMs. The Seattle firm's latest Film Series is a six-disc collection of images taken from 16mm and 35mm film, grouped into skyscapes, wind and clouds, natural landmarks, business day, buildings and monuments, and transport and traffic. Each disc retails for around $550.
SYBASE, INC.'s subsidiary has teamed with CASIO COMPUTER CO., LTD. and ITOCHU TECHNO-SCIENCE CORP. to offer a data base solution for corporate computing on handheld devices. Sybase has stripped down its DB wares to create a package that works with the limited memory and display of these products. Casio will preload the software on its Cassiopeia family of handheld computers, while Itochu Techno-Science will provide the software to link the devices with remote corporate data servers. Given the explosive growth of Japan's mobile communications market, the partners expect sales to hit $47.2 million the first year.
Activity in the computer-aided design market runs from the high end to the low. SOLIDWORKS CORP., typical of the former, has added TOSHIBA ENGINEERING CORP. to its family of resellers. The Concord, Massachusetts firm's self-named CAD package starts at $9,300.
The Japanese operation of AUTODESK, INC. has teamed with FUJI XEROX CO., LTD. to boost sales of both companies' CAD programs and related software and hardware. The partners have mated Autodesk's versatile AutoCAD 2000 package with Fuji Xerox's EDMICS 2000 information-management system to produce a modeling and data system suitable for a wide range of manufacturing activities. They hope to sell 3,000 AutoCAD licenses and 500 EDMICS systems.
In a major endorsement of its technology, COCREATE SOFTWARE INC. has a contract to install its SolidDesigner 3D CAD system throughout CANON INC.'s global office machine products operations. The maker of copiers and PC printers already licenses 200 SolidDesigner seats for its laser and BubbleJet printer divisions. Canon said that it chose SolidDesigner because of its ease of use, dynamic modeling approach and the Fort Collins, Colorado firm's strong support capabilities. The bottom line, though, was that the divisions using SolidDesigner reduced time to market and developed more innovative products. .....Separately, COCREATE SOFTWARE INC. released a Japanese version of its ME10 2D CAD program for the Linux open-source operating system. Although the Linux OS can be had for free, CoCreate's ME10 will cost users about $6,000.
Tokyo's SOLIDWAVE CORP. a joint venture of ARGO GRAPHICS INC., ARGOTECHNOS 21 CORP. and SEIKO INSTRUMENTS, INC. has entered the CAD reseller market with a full line of American engineering software. At the high end, Solidwave offers UNIGRAPHICS SOLUTIONS INC.'s family of 3D CAD tools. The Maryland Heights, Missouri firm's Solid Edge covers the middle of the lineup. Rounding out the menu is the low-cost thinkdesign 4.0 by THINK3 of Santa Clara, California (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 356, June 1999, p. 28).
For the PC drafting market, INTERNATIONAL MICROCOMPUTER SOFTWARE, INC. released new Japanese-language versions of its popular TurboCAD product. Available through SUMITOMO METAL SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT CO., LTD., TurboCAD v6 is priced from $120 for a bare-bones package to $740 for a deluxe setup.
With interest in system-on-a-chip designs rising fast, COWARE, INC. opened a wholly owned subsidiary in Tokyo to support its electronic design automation package. Already in use by such top manufacturers as FUJITSU, LTD., HITACHI, LTD., MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD., MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORP., NEC CORP. and SONY CORP., the complex methodology of the Santa Clara, California firm's CoWare N2C allows firms to extensively test and model SOC designs before taping out. That capability cuts development and debug times by up to 50 percent.
HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. has joined hands with OKI ELECTRIC INDUSTRY CO., LTD. to develop, market and support an operations support system for the fast-growing communications industry. The aim of the new communications system management solution is to reduce the cost of administering and maintaining complex networks while making it easy to add new services. One goal is reduce the time between receiving a service order and initiating that service from the current two weeks to as little as a few minutes. HEWLETT-PACKARD CO.'s OSS solution has been deployed by 50 communications businesses around the world, but it has yet to be installed in Japan. The tie with communications equipment manufacturer Oki Electric could change that. It will start selling customized systems in April 2000.
Hoping to get in on the ground floor of the mobile data transmission market, MICROSOFT CORP. and NTT MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK, INC. will establish an equally owned venture to develop and market mobile data services for NTT DoCoMo's wireless subscribers using the software giant's platforms and services. MOBIMAGIC CO., LTD. expects to be operational by mid-2000. It initially will offer corporate customers mobile access to e-mail, scheduling and other intranet-based applications over NTT DoCoMo's 64-Kbps circuit-switched PHS (personal handyphone system) wireless network. In the future, Mobimagic plans to target users of NTT DoCoMo's PDC (personal digital cellular) network and its upcoming third-generation wideband-CDMA network. The partners say that the rollout of Mobimagic services will be accompanied by an aggressive promotion of cellular phones using Microsoft's microbrowser technology and handheld PCs running Windows CE. Mobimagic will be the first tangible result of a March 1999 memorandum of understanding between Microsoft and NTT DoCoMo to collaborate in the wireless data and software fields. Executives of the two companies said they expect many other tie-ups down the road.
TEGIC COMMUNICATIONS, INC. has landed a second customer for its T9 Text Input software. MA-TSUSHITA COMMUNICATION INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. will incorporate T9 into its Panasonic-brand wireless phones for release in the United States, where they will be compatible with the TDMA (time-division multiple access) standard, and in Europe and Asia, where the handsets will work with the GSM (global system for mobile communications) network. The Seattle firm's text-input system can handle a wide variety of Western languages as well as Japanese and Chinese. NEC CORP. was Tegic's initial Japanese licensee (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 358, July 1999, p. 33).
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