We've made five strategic acquisitions primarily using cash, which is a pretty important indicator to our customers that we're going to stay around.
The acquisitions were primarily driven by our customers' need to develop software faster. Corporates identified they had to build the glue that airfixes these applications to make them work together. They're reacting to the threats in the marketplace, IT being one of the weapons in the corporate arsenal.
That's an important message which has changed in the last few years: develop faster because I am either defending my space or attacking. There's no standing still or you're in the grave.
When the application lifecycle management (ALM) strategy was decided upon, we realised speed in the integrated development environment isn't enough. We needed to reach bottlenecks in other stages of development. We found there was a big gap between design and development.
In traditional methodology, there's a design architect's model created without interaction with users. Requirements are thrown over the wall to developers who develop code for their interpretation of the model. They don't interact because architects speak models and 3D drawings and developers speak code.
So, by the time the customer sees the final product, say, 18 months later, he has now spent a lot of time and money. He has to take what he's been given because the money to fix it isn't there.
So what about the specific acquisitions?
Borland's aim was to speed up the development chain. That drove our buying decisions. Some of [what we needed] was built in-house, some we bought - like TogetherSoft, whose modelling metrics are needed in the development phase.
[With] Caliber, as project manager or consumer I can see at any point in time all the different codes, steps, models and architectures being built. Everyone involved in the process can see it and make changes to it. This is the round-trip engineering that is so vital to speed and performance.
StarBase interlinks products together, allowing changes in real time. BoldSoft's modelling tools platform uses model driven architecture. All these different technologies are integrated today with very high integration to get maximum performance.
How well are they integrated so far after just a few months?
We worked with them for one and a half years before we took them over. Our customers were experiencing the integration. It became a no-brainer to buy them.
You have a number of different products. Isn't a logical move to say: "Why don't we bring them together?"
You're about 18 months ahead of us.
Our competitors are focusing on building a framework. There are two faults with that. First, it only works on their platform; good for them but bad for users. Second, the developer can't get into it so it has to be rewritten in the language the developer wants.
With Borland architecture you can run on IBM, BEA or Microsoft. Borland takes care of all the secret spots on that platform so you get higher performance.
Borland has heavy competition from, for instance, Microsoft and IBM-Rational.
The future is an indicator of the past. We've always led the charge because we're a company of software developers and that's what we do. We've built technology that developers use and like using.
We have a very tight and close relationship with the largest community of developers in the field who we listen and talk to. They help us develop the technologies they want to use.
So Borland is the answer. IBM is not. It's not its core business. We will remain the 'Switzerland' of development, making sure our products run extremely well on IBM, Microsoft ... or anything else.
Microsoft cannot say its architecture will run on IBM RS/6000s. But it says it's cross-platform. IBM says: "We're open source, we're free. But it only runs on our hardware and our offer."
That's the second key angle that sets us apart.
Are you benefiting from Rational's takeover by IBM?
Rational is gone and you will buy IBM unless you migrate. I've just come from a customer wanting to migrate away. It is not the first.
Where are the big growth areas from your perspective?
[In development] Java has been at the forefront in the last year. [On design] More companies will have to start modelling architecture for speed. People are going to start automating their requirements.
On the security front, people are outsourcing projects. We have customers doing that right now.
What are Borland's immediate aims?
Borland will continue to build out its feature set, including higher level abstraction that ties all the way back to code. You can see us expanding the secure aspect of the operation, monitoring to make sure it is going well, to manage the applications portfolio.
We will supply ALM software to run on any development platform you want. We don't care, and the reality is you shouldn't care as a developer because you don't know what tomorrow's computer is going to be.
Borland is constantly looking for new technologies. We are developing or working with people on things 18 to 24 months out, perhaps two to three years for wireless.
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