Network Associates (NAI) is hoping to calm users' fears over the fate of Magic helpdesk software.
NAI exclusively revealed to PC Week its strategy for combining SupportMagic, which it acquired in March this year, with McAfee's Total Service Desk, which the company also owns. A new product, codenamed Merlin, is to be released in the first quarter of next year, and promises to require no data migration for current users of SupportMagic.
Cassandra Millhouse, lead analyst at Ovum, said that since NAI took over Magic Solutions there has been concern among Magic's customer base over support and product line continuity. "Customers have complained that they were getting different answers from different people at NAI," she said.
Frank van der Lecq, NAI's international product marketing manager for NetTools, said Merlin would be browser-based and combine SupportMagic's GUI with the scalability of McAfee's database and asset management tools.
However, Ovum's Millhouse doubts how successful NAI will be in integrating these products. "On the technical side I am sceptical (of Merlin) because it could not really work unless NAI rebuilt it from scratch, which it has not said it will do," she said. "This is a critical time for NAI.
It has been growing quickly through acquisition. If it gets this technology together it will do well, if not the whole strategy could fail. What the company has done so far makes it difficult to have confidence."
Van der Lecq said that the original code from the Magic products would be used in Merlin, at least as reference. NAI will also extend its "business object" architecture from its Total Service Desk to Merlin.
- More helpdesk news, p27.
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