Corel is attempting to beef up its European business to help it move back into profit next year.
Don Sylvester, Corel's senior vice president of sales, said: "We hope to be predictably profitable next year. We've moved to just-in-time inventory and we're structuring for profits in 1998 by cutting back on discretionary spending such as marketing and communications. We're just in the process of building our 1998 business plan now, but our profits will be based on the expectation of flat revenues in 1997 and 1998."
He added that, while the UK was growing by 40% year on year, European sales as a whole had only increased marginally this year. Nevertheless, he hopes to shift the company's revenue split between the US and the rest of the world from 70:30 to 60:40 within the next year.
Sylvester also outlined the company's plans for its next generation office suite, called Alta. The browser-based product, which also runs on a server, will comprise different Java applets such as spellcheck that will download automatically to the desktop when required.
The software will provide dynamic load balancing running elements of the application on the client or the server as appropriate. Alta will also include so-called business management modules, including packages to automate and deal with processes such as expenses and purchasing, assets such as people and places, communications and workflow projects and tasks.
Sylvester also outlined Corel's product strategy for its office applications.
The delayed Enterprise Edition of the Perfect Office suite, which has been rewritten in Java to run on a server, is now scheduled to be shipped in the first quarter of 1998, nearly nine months later than was first promised.
A new data mining product, Corel Resero, will also find its way into the suite, although it will first be sold as a standalone offering. The product was developed specifically for United Technologies' Otis Lifts division, who wanted an easier-to-use version of those currently on the market. First customer shipments are due to start in November, and general availability is scheduled for February.
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