Sterling Software will announce what it plans to do with its Texas Instruments Software (TIS) acquisition by mid-June, but outlined some of its intentions at its user conference in Miami last week.
The mainframe software house is positioning its Key family of modelling and analysis tools as complementary to TIS?s Composer Case tools suite, which it now tags as design and development products.
It plans to introduce a common interface to both product families, but is also positioning the repository, jointly developed by TIS and Microsoft, as the integration environment for them and for other third party tools such as Microsoft?s Visual Basic and Visual C++.
The company sees TIS?s move to reinvent itself as a components supplier as key to the future and intends to outline plans for platform-independent Java-based tools, object libraries and object assembly tools in June.
But, despite TIS? well-documented financial problems, Sterling does not expect to introduce swingeing job cuts. It is, however, holding a meeting in Dallas from 22 May to 14 June to work out how to take the acquisition forward.
Sterling Williams, Sterling?s president and chief executive, said: ?TI has an inherent bureaucracy in being a large company, but it won?t into the future. The biggest improvements will come in the field and we?ll rationalise sales staff. At $100 million, our application development business is not as big as we?d like, but it is profitable. TI is fast growing, but not profitable, but it will help us grow bigger. One of the reasons we bought it was to move more into third party channels.?
But Neil Ward-Dutton, analyst at consultancy Ovum, was not convinced.
?I found it quite puzzling that TIS ended up with Sterling because it was desperately trying to reinvent itself as a components supplier. Sterling is a slow mover and it?s not at the cutting edge. It doesn?t feel like the right fit. Sterling has its fingers in so many pies and it doesn?t have a message. It would need a significant amount of money to take TIS forward and I don?t see much future for it long term. TIS will end up even more of an albatross for it and is in danger of pulling it down there,? he said.
He added that he was also pessimistic about the future of TIS? products.
?Composer needs an overhaul. It?s been around for a long time and is very comprehensive, but it has got a lot of legacy stuff in it, which makes it quite confusing to use. Even if Sterling has a solid commitment to it, it will take another year to rationalise, which is too far down the line because it?s already been usurped by newer client/server tools. Sterling can only want it for maintenance because it?s not going to be able to take it forward,? he said.
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