Platinum Technology has set up an Internet commerce division to house its multiple Web acquisitions and to boost its ambitions in the virtual reality 3D browser market.
These browsers are based on the VRML (Virtual Reality Mark-up Language) ISO standard, which has until now been used primarily in the creation of virtual reality worlds. But the VRML Consortium, which includes Microsoft, has recently started expanding the specification so that users can create 3D interfaces for the Web.
The standard has never been widely used, however, because it demands a great deal of bandwidth and processing power, but Platinum believes the market has been underexploited and, as a result, has bought up most of the VRML suppliers on the market.
These acquisitions are Intervista Software, Vream and Silicon Graphic?s Cosmo Software product line. Platinum has also puchased Vivid Studios, which designs and implements Web and ecommerce sites, to try to become a 'one-stop shop' for users wanting to introduce an Internet based infrastructure into their organisation.
Andrew Filipowski, Platinum?s president and chief executive, said: ?We?re focusing on our Internet services work because we believe that Net based activity is permeating all aspects of the business. Everyone is accepting the universal availability of IP and we believe this opens up the way for upcoming technology such as 3D."
He explained: "Vream is the nucleus of our effort in 3D in all our business activity and it?s being rolled out across our entire product line. It?s integral to our Internet and ecommerce efforts.?
Ted Collins, senior vice president of Platinum's Internet commerce division, added that he believed there was a ?massive? and ?underserved? market for VRML based 3D interfaces, and that Platinum was leading the way in its implementation of the technology.
In July, it demonstrated the first of its systems management family to sport a 3D front end in the shape of its Job Management product, and the next version of Forest and Trees will be the first of its decision support offerings to include the technology.
?It?s a major differentiator for our tools and will enable us to win more evaluations because people like to be entertained at the same time as they use their products for business purposes. 3D has the incremental role of raising the bar on acceptability and desirability of a product line and we reckon we?ll get between 10-30 per cent higher win ratios from a world that has so far been stuck in 2D,? Collins explained.
He added that the company was in the process of deciding how it would integrate the product lines of its purchases, but the Worldview and Cosmo Player browsers would be merged as soon as possible to create a single ?ubiquitous VRML browser?.
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