Scala, the business management software provider, has dumped Unix to cosy up with Microsoft and NT.
Launching Scala 5, the latest version of its financial application, in Budapest this week, the company said it wanted all its customers to move to NT.
Chief executive Andreas Kemi said: ?Some people say we are prostituting ourselves to Microsoft and we say yes, we are.?
Scala 5 is certified to run with Microsoft Back Office products. Scala claims it is moving from cross-platform packages to NT only because it was easier to support one version across the globe.
?Last year we found ourselves too stretched working with Microsoft and Unix and we had to focus,? said Kemi. ?We asked our customers what they wanted and the response was NT, NT, NT.?
It is more important for Scala to support as many countries as possible, than all the operating systems. Dennis Keeling, a business software analyst, said: ?Scala and SAP are today the only companies with a true worldwide distribution and support.?
Scala?s attitude to SAP - the leading application supplier - is conciliatory. Kemi said: ?We don?t compete with SAP - they are at the high end of the market and rolling out SAP takes two years. We concentrate on the midrange market and Scala can be implemented in one to three months. Our customers want co-operation between us and they all use Microsoft technology to do the integration.?
Mike Burdett, managing director of Scala UK, underlined this approach. ?Our clients' strategies are aimed at standardising in their enterprise resource planning. For large systems they want SAP, but for midrange they want Scala - there has to be a synergy between our companies.?
He added: ?We will turn down clients who come to us and demand Unix or redirect them to NT. Version 5 is not officially available on Unix. It is easier for us to support one version across the globe and that is NT.?
Scala 5 also claims to allow clients to "enter the millennium worry-free.? Although versions 2 and 3 of the product are not millennium compliant, the company says a project team is working on Y2K compliancy for older releases.
?Some 40 per cent of our customers are Y2K compliant now. We are aiming for 70 per cent for 1998,? said Kemi. ?However, 80 per cent of our clients who aren?t ready envisage upgrading in September and October and we are running out of consultants. Their rates will increase heavily as of August,? he warned.
On the question of European monetary union (Emu), Kemi said: ?We believe Emu will be driven by business, not by government. 50 per cent of our customers will be upgraded for 1999 to be ready for Emu.?
Geoff Holt, sales and marketing director for Scala UK, said: ?Scala 5 is not Emu compliant at this time. I don?t see how anyone can say they are at this stage while the parameters for Emu are still being set.?
During the launch - after Holt had signalled the arrival of the Emu compliant update in January 1999 - Kemi moved the date forward to Q4 this year. He explained the sudden date change, claiming: ?Our customers have demanded that we bring Emu compliancy forward.?
Key features of Scala 5 include one global CD that includes all major languages and supports more than 60 countries? local requirements; and a new project management module - an integrated tool for estimates, budgeting, resource planning and follow-up that enhances tracking of all aspects of the business.
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