Informix plans to set up two Web oriented business units at the start of its new financial year to focus on the Internet as a major growth engine for the future and it also intends to grow by acquisition.
While the database supplier has ostensibly recovered from its financial debacle of a couple of years ago, following accounting irregularities and an overemphasis on its Illustra object/relational database at the expense of its bread and butter offerings, the firm’s share price is still languishing at about the $8 mark and it is no longer seen as a darling of Wall Street.
In addition, although its revenues increased by 19 per cent to $206.8 million for its fiscal second quarter, which ended on 30 June, the figures were boosted by about $8 million due to its acquisition of Red Brick. Underlying sales growth was more like 13.6 per cent.
As a result, on 1 October, Informix intends to establish a Web Foundation division to sell its Internet Foundation.2000 (IF.2000) database, formerly codenamed Centaur (see VNU Newswire, 21 July, 1999), to OEMs to embed in their products, and a Web Solutions unit.
This will include Web based packages such as its current media asset management business and the i.sell and i.reach applications bundles. It will also see marketing, product management and development staff under one roof for the first time in an attempt to make Informix a “more market driven, customer focused organisation”, in the words of Jean-Yves Dexmier, its president and chief executive.
Informix’s business intelligence (BI) division will remain intact, however, and its new socalled product selling business will sell its database and other offerings to users, although it will have an increased focus on channel sales.
The organisation is also looking at new sales channels such as edistribution because it believes this will promote operational efficiency by enabling it to sell a higher volume of products at a higher margin.
Diane Fraiman, Informix’s vice president of marketing, said at the firm’s Information Portal user group meeting in San Diego last week: “The aim is to create a laser beam focus on Web technology. It’s the next step in what we already have and we’re declaring a strong focus on Web solutions to boost growth.”
Alan Kerr, the company’s vice president of Europe, explained that the online transaction processing (OLTP) market was growing at about 20 per cent as customers extended their applications, “so we’re never going to significantly grow the business on that. BI is growing at 35 per cent, so it’s got some good possibilities and the Red Brick acquisition has the potential for a lot of growth. But there is no dominant player in the Web space, so this is where we’ll focus our efforts”.
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