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November 12, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 6:54pm


By CBR Staff Writer

After failing to secure a $3.5m line of funding Chisholm Technologies Inc, the Austin, Texas-based software house owned by Fujitsu Ltd is being closed down and its DCE management products sold to Santa Clara, California-based DCE/web security company Dascom Inc for an undisclosed amount. Chisholm, whose 30 staff are not expected to make the journey west, has around 35 customers using its programs for managing Distributed Computing Environment networks, but has been caught in limbo as it waited for users to transition to using web and directory-based services that could take advantage of a new product it had developed for managing both kinds of network codenamed Comet. Fujitsu will retain Comet, which includes namespace, security and configuration management, for use internally, but is unlikely to productize the software, according to Chisholm CEO Mike Machutt. Dascom already has products which work in both environments. Chisholm started out as a distributed software group of Hal Computers Ltd, another Fujitsu investment, in 1991. Hardware- oriented Hal had little time or resources for the software and when Hal was bought ought by Fujitsu the DCE engineers convinced Fujitsu to spin the group off as a standalone company. Fujitsu spent around $6m all told to buy the intellectual property from Hal and recruit ex-IBMer Machutt in 1996 to complete the spinout and development of Chisholm’s DCE Cell Manager software. Chisholm secured DCE shops Transarc Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co as partners and won business from MCI, Motorola, and US West, says Machutt, but couldn’t reach profit because despite all of the hype surrounding new internet-based network technology DCE users aren’t adopting new web and LDAP directory and public key security services quickly enough for Chisholm, which had pinned its hopes on selling Comet to integrate the environments. There’s said to be at least another $1.5m in orders already guaranteed for DCE Cell Manager and services from the likes of Transarc and Boeing Co over the next couple of quarters. Dascom is excepted to integrate the technology into its Intraverse DCE-based web service. In addition seeking additional strategic investment Chisholm, which couldn’t generate the revenue to continue operations, also made advances to IBM but was turned away as Big Blue already has a well-defined DCE management strategy.

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