The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) is pinning its hopes for future revenue growth on moving into the enterprise and sees its Tarantella client integration software as one of the key planks of that strategy.
The supplier has traditionally sold its Unix operating systems into the small and medium business sector via the third party channel, but Tarantella requires a different business model and is sold to larger corporates via systems integrators such as Integrated Computer Systems and specially certified resellers. As a result, it currently resides in a 'virtual business unit' within the organisation.
Ray Anderson, SCO?s senior vice president of international marketing, explained the aims behind this at the SCO Forum developers conference in Santa Cruz last week. ?If we grow Tarantella, we grow. It could almost double our potential, but we must execute now. We?ve spent years developing the product, so we have to produce results within the next year,? he said.
Doug Michels, SCO?s president and chief executive, was even more upbeat. ?We think Tarantella?s got a really exciting future. It?s important to understand where the industry is going in its continued evolution to network computing. People are becoming more disenchanted with the fat client nightmare and want to use browsers and tools to end that. Tarantella is a solution,? he said.
He continued: ?I think Tarantella has the makings of a great company. It focuses on the enterprise and gluing enterprise systems together. It will come to bloom over the next 12 months and will start to have a real presence in the enterprise.?
As a result, SCO is talking to a number of OEMs including IBM and Sun to bundle the client piece of Tarantella on their systems for free to try and seed the market. Terminal and network computer manufacturers such as NCD, Wyse and Sherwood are also talking to the supplier.
But John Alhandra, SCO?s chief financial officer, admitted that if the Tarantella business becomes as successful as the company hopes, it may consider spinning it off as a separate entity.
?If you look at the value of Internet stocks and take notice of high market capitalisations, it would seem to make sense potentially, but I?d like to see more growth out of the business first," he explained.
Meanwhile, the next release of the product, version 1.2, is due at the end of this month. This will enable users to add application servers as a third tier between their host and client machines with load automatically balanced between them to improve scalability.
For full roadmap details see analysis section.
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