Sterling Software is reviewing its strategy for migrating users away from its Key Enterprise modelling and analysis tools, in the wake of its acquisition of Texas Instruments Software (TIS) in March.
The Key Enterprise family is predominantly made up of the OS/2-based ADW products that Sterling acquired along with Knowledgeware in 1994.
But the mainframe software house has since rewritten Key Enterprise to run under Windows 95 and NT, and has for the past six months been keen to migrate users over to the new platforms due to dwindling interest in OS/2 among its installed base.
The Key Workgroup tools will be renamed in the next nine months because Sterling feels the name is misleadingly targeting them at the departmental rather than enterprise space.
However, about 100 of Key Enterprise?s 700 user sites have already bought into the firm?s 'Planning and Analysis Transition' strategy, although one user reckoned the Knowledgeware products had only about a year left before Sterling would start forcing the issue.
Mike Harvey, acting president of Sterling?s applictions management group, retorted: ?We want our customers to move to Key Workgroup, but we won?t stop support. We?ll add new functionality through this year, but we can?t say when Key Enterprise will move into maintenance. The addition of TIS adds a new element and a potential for adding a futher migration path to Composer and we?ll delve deeply into that in the next few weeks.?
He added that the company also planned to integrate its Clear Access product with Composer to strengthen its currently weak report writing capabilities and was working out marketing plans for TIS? Performer workgroup development tools, which have only just started shipping.
But Neil Ward-Dutton, analyst at research company Ovum, was not optimistic about the future of either product family. ?Since Sterling took on ADW, nothing much has happened with it. It?s hardly one of the major players any more and it?s languishing. I?m also quite pessimistic about the future of Texas Instruments? products. Composer needs an overhaul - it?s been around for a long time and has a lot of legacy stuff in it, which makes it quite confusing to use. It?s been usurped by newer client/server tools and I can?t see it or Key moving forward unless Sterling reinvents itself completely,? he said.
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