Mortice Kern Systems Goes Vertical (Sky, that is)
Mortice Kern Systems (MKS), long known for their expertise in porting
UNIX environments (for instance, a Korn Shell (KSH) script or a CGI script)
to native Windows NT and Windows 2000, and supporting the full POSIX.2
specification, has expanded into the world of e-business. They have created
a new wholly owned subsidiary called Vertical Sky, which is marketing
a product called the Vertical Sky Evolution Management Solution. The
vendor believes that it will "provide integrated management of code and
content in an e-business". MKS believes that they are the first vendor
to enter this space, and that the "new generation of e-business is much
more transactional, with many more integrated systems".
to Randall Howard, MKS chairman and CEO, "Both new and existing customers
recognize MKS. The revenue growth of our e-business product line has increased
from virtually nothing to the majority of our business and continues to
grow and accelerate."
importance of this effort involves the increasing level of integration
between back-end systems and e-commerce front-ends, which is becoming
crucial to brick-and-mortar companies attempting to transition to the
web or at least leverage it.
recently acquired DataFocus and the SDM Division of Silvon Software to
accelerate product development in the software change management arena.
Their current customers include Priceline.com, Sentry Insurance, Royal
Bank of Canada, and Case Corporation.
Another vendor re-brands itself as an "e-commerce enabler". It seems to
TEC that virtually all software vendors are claiming to be in the e-commerce
space, and customers should be careful to investigate whether it is a
marketing ploy or actual software development.
Howard believes that the growth in software management products will be
as high as $1.6 billion dollars by the year 2003, even though it is considered
a mature market. They estimate growth at 24% per year. The move into web
content management with Vertical Sky is due to the fact that they expect
that market to grow at 83% per year, and match the $1.6 billion number
by 2003 also.
Howard also stated that "In three years I would like to see Vertical Sky
as a leading vendor in this new world of e-business management solutions.
When that market is literally measured in the billions of dollars, I would
like to see Vertical Sky have annual revenues in excess of $250 million
by that point."
has a strong presence in the market due to their MKS Toolkit (basically
UNIX on Windows NT), and has a strong reputation and awareness among system
administrators. If their sales and marketing plan is robust, they should
be able to make strong inroads with companies trying to switch from "brick
and mortar" to B2B and B2C e-commerce.
Companies evaluating software configuration management solutions should
include MKS on the short list. Other companies/products to consider would
be Computer Associates Endevor (for the mainframe environment), IBM WebSphere
Studio, Merant PVCS, and Microsoft Visual SourceSafe (for a purely Windows
environment). There are many other products in this market, and TEC will
issue a market note on all of the players in the near future.