In the process of metamorphosing from a tools vendor into a provider of distributed enterprise solutions, Borland is changing even its name. On Tuesday, in a satellite broadcast from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, chairman and CEO Del Yocam announced that the company will henceforth be known as Inprise.
At the same time, the company formerly known as Borland also announced that it is working on an Enterprise Application Server, to be rolled out piecemeal over the rest of the year (see separate story), and that it is forming a professional services division.
The new name, Inprise, was thought up by Lexicon Branding ? the same company that came up with Pentium for Intel and Powerbook for Apple. It is meant to evoke ?integration? and ?enterprise?. Stockholders must approve the name change in a meeting on 5 June.
The Borland brand will be maintained for the Delphi and JBuilder development tools.
The new company states as its mission ?to radically simplify the development, deployment and management of distributed enterprise applications?.
The name change follows two months after Borland took over Visigenics, the developer of Object Broker. In many ways, Inprise will be more like Visigenics than like the ?old? Borland, targeting the enterprise, stressing services and creating a direct salesforce. Borland, traditionally, sold its low priced tools to independent software developers, using an indirect sales model.
?It really is a new company," Del Yocam told 'VNU Newswire' in an interview after the announcement. ?We have a new management team, new customers, new markets, new products, new partners. I wanted some way to express all this in a new name."
Yocam is widely credited with having turned the company around. A former Apple COO, he went on to a successful stint at Tektronix in the early 1990s.
Since he joined Borland 18 months ago, the company has seen five consecutive quarters of growth, and four quarters of operating profit.
Yocam claims that these figures hide a more profound change - sales of products and services to enterprise customers have gone from 10 per cent to 67 per cent of the total. Also, the company has built partnerships with IBM, SAP, Oracle, Novell and Microsoft.
Inprise currently employs over 900 people. Approximately 150 of those will be assigned to a new Professional Services Organisation, to be headed by Bob Perreault. The new unit will be rolled out worldwide over the next nine months. It will provide services including design, development and implementation of enterprise systems and architectures.
Inprise also said it would bring to market an Enterprise Application Server (see separate story). It will be built around the object request broker Visibroker, which will be integrated with the new application management software Appcenter, launched in February and with Borland?s development tools Delphi and JBuilder. Details about the product are expected to emerge over the next few months, with an early version to be demonstrated at a developers? conference in July.
Borland was founded in 1983 by French mathematician Philippe Kahn. It rose to fame on the success of its Turbo Pascal programming language, and later of other products such as the Paradox database. The company expanded into desktop productivity applications such as the Quattro Pro spreadsheet.
But Borland stumbled in the early 1990s. It digested the takeover of its competitor Ashton-Tate, maker of dBase, badly and, like Lotus and Wordperfect, Borland was slow to port its key applications ? dBase and Paradox - to Windows.
When the market moved from single productivity apps to suites, Borland teamed with Wordperfect. But Borland Office, as it was originally called, never really took off. Borland sold off first its spreadsheet Quattro Pro, then Paradox. The suite is now being marketed by Corel under the name Wordperfect Suite.
In 1994, after a spate of heavy losses, Kahn stepped down to found Starfish Software. Borland did, however, remain successful in its original market, selling programming tools to ISVs. It transformed Turbo Pascal into the client/server environment Delphi. With JBuilder, Borland managed to corner a piece of the fast growing Java market.
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