Alok Mohan, chief executive and president of SCO, hopes to ?blow the doors off? the Microsoft NT bandwaggon with three major announcements in the next four months, after admitting the past two years have forced him to make ?the hardest decisions of his life?.
Later this year SCO will release Tarantella, its critically acclaimed network computing software; Gemini, the operating system upgrade to both SCO?s Open Server and Unixware; and an as yet shadowy server clustering technology, expected to be developed with Compaq/Tandem.
Mohan told 'VNU Newswire' that the company has undergone painful changes in the past two years, not helped financially by charges from the 1995 purchase of Unixware from Novell and the 1996 restructuring. ?I can?t announce anything to you now but we?ve got something coming that will blow the doors off this NT clustering stuff, working with an established player," he said.
This joint development is likely to go further than the clustering technologies being announced this summer. Microsoft and Tandem announced further developments in two-node NT clustering and related Wolfpack software a few days ago (see Newswire, 18 August), while SCO and Compaq unveiled six-node clustering at the SCO Forum conference in Santa Cruz this week.
SCO is at a crossroads in its history, Mohan admitted. ?We?ve paid for Unixware and done the restructuring, a process which included making the hardest decisions of my life - both personal and working life. Now we?ve cleared channel inventory and we?re launching big new products.?
Mohan explained that SCO?s strategy will build on the company?s dominance of the Intel-based Unix market - it holds 80 per cent of that sector, according to IDC. ?Companies buy based on hardware and it?s Intel, Intel, Intel,? he said. ?For Unix, we sell on scalability, reliability and availability.?
Selling the unproven network computing design in the well established Unix-on-Intel environment, and using a new, direct sales channel to do it, will pose a challenge. Mohan said SCO will lean on its reliable reputation to do it. ?Network computing protects your freedom of choice. You get to choose the servers and clients you need now. You don?t have to wait for Cairo, or Casablanca, or whatever desert mirage Microsoft points to next.?
Analysts at the event said SCO?s strength in Unix and the release of Gemini will ensure its modest success as server sales continue to grow. The sales of Tarantella, the network computing product, will determine if SCO can grow rapidly, they agreed.
Company veteran Geoff Seabrook, senior vice president of SCO Emea, said the company has worked for over four years on its strategy and Tarantella is the missing piece. ?We?ve learned the lessons in new technology so we are not worried that Tarantella is new and unproven,? he said. ?It?s getting rave reviews but we know customer installations are the most important thing.?
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