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Technology / AI and automation

PERVASIVE’S MAJOR MARKETING CHALLENGE

Embedded database supplier Pervasive Software Inc has big plans for business outside the US following its recent IPO (CI No 3,264), and has opened for business in the UK, but the former Novell Inc Btrieve spin-off has a major marketing challenge ahead, to tell people the embedded database they’ve been using for years is Pervasive’s. The Austin, Texas company has a worldwide installed base which numbers many hundreds of thousands of mainly Novell Netware users, but in many cases those users may be unaware that the database underlying their application is Pervasive’s embedded ‘navigational’ database, Btrieve. The message the company is anxious to get across to those users is that Pervasive is very much alive and kicking, and busy developing new products and a clear migration path for their future requirements. Both Btrieve, and the company’s newer relational database product, Scalable SQL, are designed to be embedded into applications by application developers and independent software vendors, and the company claims that apart from delivering very high performance and taking up relatively little memory, both products require little maintenance and support, and therefore the cost of ownership is very low. This is its major sales message to distributors and ISVs. The company says the cost of buying applications software is constantly lowering, and eating away at these vendors margins. It therefore believes applications developers and ISVs can make more money by reselling or embedding Pervasive databases, since the on-going support and maintenance costs are so much lower than with traditional databases such as Oracle, Sybase and even Microsoft Corp’s SQL server, which Pervasive will meet as its main competitor in the small to medium business market.

70% growth target

Pervasive turned over around $40m last year, and saw some 40% of that from Europe. Following its IPO, which it says was ten times over-subscribed, it has decided to open offices in all its major sales locations, and earlier this month opened up shop in the UK under the direction of Howard Gooder, who joined the company in September from Compuware Corp and prior to that worked for Platinum Software Corp. Gooder says he has inherited a $1m a year business in the UK, Ireland and India, which is his territory, and his target for the coming year is 70% growth, well above the run rate in the rest of Europe of 45% annual growth. Gooder is currently recruiting distributors and what he calls manufacturing partners, applications developers who will take the products on a royalty, license basis and embed them in to vertical market applications. As well as pushing new versions of Btrieve at existing customers, the company also believes it has a huge market to go at in the medium size business market wishing to move to client-server applications, with its Scalable SQL relational database. Early in the new year the company says it will be bringing out major new releases of both Btrieve and Scalable SQL and it is working on Java and internet enabled versions.

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CBR Staff Writer

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