Seagate Software 'Crystallizes' Its New Name: Crystal Decisions

  • Written By: M. Reed
  • Published: April 10 2001

Seagate M. Reed - April 10, 2001

Event Summary

Seagate Software has announced a new chapter in its corporate history by changing its name to Crystal Decisions. Crystal Decisions is an information infrastructure company that is a market leader in reporting, analysis and information delivery through its flagship product, Crystal Reports.

As of November 2000, Crystal Decisions attained new ownership through the privatization of its former parent company, Seagate Technology. An investment group led by Silver Lake Partners and executive management from Seagate Technology now own Crystal Decisions. According to the vendor, together Silver Lake and Seagate Technology have brought a strong combination of market expertise, long-term strategic vision, and financial stability to the company. Silver Lake Partners has stated that they recognize significant opportunity in Crystal Decisions' products, executive team, and market leadership, and is committed to accelerating the company's growth and maximizing its overall value. Seagate Technology CEO Steve Luczo will continue as Chairman of the Crystal Decisions board, and Crystal Decisions will still operate as part of the Seagate Technology family of companies.

According to Crystal Decisions president and chief executive officer Greg Kerfoot, "The name Crystal Decisions gives us a cohesive, instantly-recognizable identity. With the world's most popular design tool for high-performance reporting, a globally scalable web information delivery infrastructure, and a sophisticated application development technology for advanced business analysis-Crystal Decisions' market leadership is clear."

Market Impact

Out with the old and in with the new

So why would Seagate want to change its name? (And spend all that money replacing logos, marketing collateral, web site designs, and more.) One reason: it was not uncommon for potential customers to be confused at how Crystal Reports came from Seagate, generally thought of as a computer hard drive vendor (Seagate Technology, the former parent company). Even Seagate Software's address of "920 Disc Drive" invoked a vision of spinning platters instead of query and reporting tools. Besides being reflective of the company's most successful product, Crystal Reports, the new name should eliminate confusion in the market, and make life easier for Crystal Decisions' sales, marketing, and public relations staffs.

In terms of overall market impact, there should be little effect. The ownership change may provide some increased financial stability, since the vendor is now further removed from the vagaries of the computer hardware market. The toolset is still robust and one of the best selling query and reporting tools on the market.

User Recommendations

Customers evaluating query and reporting tools should still keep Crystal Decisions' Crystal Reports on the short list. The corporate name change is not an indication of a change in direction, and we believe that Crystal products will continue to be among the market leaders. There are a limited number of choices for pure "query and reporting" tools (not to be confused with OLAP-type tools such as Cognos PowerPlay or Hyperion EssBase). Other products worthy of consideration include those from vendors such as Brio, Business Objects, Cognos (Impromptu), and Information Builders.

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