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October 12, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Scotts Valley, California-based Seagate Technology Inc, attempting to establish itself as the world’s biggest disk drive maker by acquiring Conner Peripherals Inc (CI No 2,754), has not forgotten its promise of two years ago when it said it wanted to become a software vendor, and it has now established Seagate Software Inc to peddle the products of the software companies it has bought over the last 18 months in Europe. It has also just announced a raft of new versions of many of these company’s products. Although Seagate Software Inc is a US-based company, its offices are in Bracknell, here in the UK, in Paris, France and Dusseldorf, Germany. Its sole business will be sales and marketing, and represents part of Seagate’s ambitious plan to grow the software side of its business to $1,000m by 1999.


In 1993 the company announced that it wanted to be known as a data management company rather than a simple storage manufacturer (CI No 2,282) and grow to become a $6,000m business by 1999 – but if the Conner deal goes through, that last ambition will have been met four years early. Its moves were seen as an attempt not just to expand but to reduce its dependence on the very volatile disk drive market; of course, by buying Conner the company would reduce its competition. At the time it announced it ambitions in software it said it would use its $723m cash reserves to acquire small or big companies specialised in data, storage and network management. It has since then spent $400m and said it’s already making money out of the new companies. It now has more than 30 products in the storage, information and network management arena. However, with the exception of one of the companies it bought, Naperville, Illinois-based Palindrome Corp, none had any presence in Europe. As Seagate views this market as one experiencing high growth rates, it has taken the decision that a single company will be the best way to take advantage of what it believes are huge opp ortunities. The companies it has bought so far are Caltex Software Inc, a start-up database software developer, where it had held 40%; supplier of Windows-based report writers and data access tools Crystal Computer Services Inc of Vancouver, British Columbia (CI No 2,413); it also has a 25% stake in Newton, Massachusetts-based speech recognition technology specialist Dragon Systems Inc (CI No 2,458); and it owns Palindrome, developer of data protection and management software for NetWare-based networks, for which it paid $69m (CI No 2,468); Network Computing Inc of Santa Clara, California which develops LANAlert network management software for NetWare networks (CI No 2,593); NetLabs Inc, Los Altos, California-based developer of network management software for Unix networks (CI No 2,628); privately-held Boston network management software specialist Frye Computer Systems Inc, which does the Frye Utilities for Networks (CI No 2,663); and lastly, this July, Seagate bought Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based Creative Interaction Technologies Inc, maker of a batch scheduler for heterogeneous client-server systems, for an undisclosed cash sum (CI No 2,704).

By Maya Anaokar

Dragon and Caltex are not part of the Seagate Software family. NetLabs and Network Computing have been merged into one company, Seagate Enterprise Management, and moved to Cupertino, otherwise all the other companies have been left as they were. All operate as independent subsidiaries and in North America will continue to carry out their own marketing, sales and support activity, and all their products will continue to carry their original names, at least for the forseeable future. But in Europe, within the next few months, all the software will begin to be branded Seagate, as Seagate Software swings into action. And Seagate believes it is likely that there will be something like a Seagate Software Asia or South America some time in the future. As to the products announced, virtually all the companies have new versions of their existing products. Crystal Info is a workgroup de

cision support program, built in three layers and deployable around a client-server environment. It is designed to offer users the ability to create ad-hoc queries, interrogate existing reports from previous queries, to automate information delivery, and also to analyse data. The Frye Network Management Platform, LAN Directory for Windows 1.0, or more easily WinLAND, is designed to enable network managers to carry out hardware and software inventories in personal computer networks. It has been specifically designed for client-server environments and the company claims the product is scalable and supports the most widely-used network operating systems. NetLabs’ AssetManager becomes Seagate AssetManager 2.0 and is the networking software for Unix and IPX. It too carries out hardware and software inventories of Windows and Macintosh personal computers and Unix workstations.

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This version comes with Bellingham, Washington-based Horizon Technologies Inc’s LANauditor software which has added the capability of scanning and collecting information from personal computer networks. Network Computing’s LANALert reappears as Seagate LANAlert Agent for Windows NT Server. The product enables network administrators to manage Windows NT and NetWare servers from the same console. Creative Interaction’s AshWin pops up as Seagate AshWin 2.0. This is a batch scheduler for mixed environments. There is also a new version of Palindrome Storage Manager, for NetWare, which is essentially an integration of back-up, archiving and hierachical storage management software Palindrome has had. Seagate said that merging the three makes more sense and is cheaper. However, prices have not been forthcoming from the company: Seagate said that anyone curious enough to want to know would have to contact the country offices to get local prices – ignoring the fact that most users start to feel uneasy if they don’t kno w what the dollar price is, and suspect they are being ripped off.

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