Over the past
six months, Seagate Technology has made major moves to refocus their majority-owned
subsidiary, Seagate Software, and put all the emphasis on their business intelligence
products. These products were acquired in the early to mid-1990's with the purchase
of Crystal Computer Services (Crystal Reports), and Holistic Systems (Holos
Reorganized the Seagate Software subsidiary. This effort
was begun in May of 1999 with the sale of the Network and Storage Management
Group (including the Palindrome and Arcada disk backup products, among many
others) to Veritas Software Corporation. Seagate Software now contains only
the Information Management Group, which consists of Crystal Info, Crystal
Reports, Crystal Reports for Microsoft BackOffice, and Holos. In fiscal
1999 the Information Management Group products contributed 41% of Seagate
Software's revenue. Seagate Technology stated that "management believes
that the separation of Seagate Software's Veritas stock (the network and
storage management products) and the IMG business (Crystal and Holos) will
provide a clearer incentive for employees of Seagate Software to focus on
the future development of the IMG business".
On June 15, Seagate announced the "free software initiative",
the distribution of millions of copies of Seagate Analysis and a 50-user
copy of Seagate Info 7. By July 21, over 35,000 copies had been requested.
On July 26, Seagate announced participation in the Microsoft
Visual Studio Integration Program, which gives Seagate access to the developer
community. Crystal Reports will now ship directly with Visual Basic.
On September 3, Seagate announced the repurchase of the
small minority of stock held by various employees, directors, and consultants
so that Seagate Technology will own 100% of Seagate Software. The reorganization
and repurchase are expected to require that 8 million shares of Seagate
Technology stock be issued to stockholders and optionholders of Seagate
Software. Seagate Technology expects that charges of approximately $216
million will be recorded during the quarter in which the reorganization
As part of its continuing free software initiative, Seagate
distributed over 200,000 free copies of Seagate Analysis and Seagate Info
7 to Microsoft BackOffice users.
On September 28, Seagate announced that they had achieved
"Oracle E-Certification" by meeting the technical requirements of Oracle
Corporation's Product Certification Program. Seagate successfully demonstrated
their products' integration with Oracle's warehouse products to achieve
On September 29, Seagate distributed a new free "Reporting
and Analysis Solutions" CD for Microsoft BackOffice users. Microsoft BackOffice
now ships with Seagate Info bundled into the package. The product ships
with pre-built reports for machine configurations, network traffic patterns,
and others, with over 100 administrative reports in total. Seagate also
stated that the product fully supports the new features of Microsoft SQL
On October 5, Seagate extended the free software initiative
to users of SAP products, by shipping Seagate Analysis and Seagate Info
with SAP R/3 drivers and sample reports for several SAP applications. These
drivers and reports can simply be plugged in and used immediately. Once
again, the product is shipped with a free 50-user license. This product
can access R/3 data via the ABAP dictionary and report directly from the
SAP database. It also has an ABAP query driver, which allows reporting from
pre-built ABAP queries (Crystal Reports only). In addition, the products
are BAPI certified against SAP's Business Information Warehouse (BW).
has made it clear that their Seagate Software subsidiary will be focused on
the query/reporting segment of the business intelligence market. Their free
software initiative has allowed deep penetration into the market space, and
will allow customers to evaluate and implement Seagate's software without cost
or risk. This move will increase their market share and will affect the sales
of competing products such as Cognos Impromptu, Oracle Reports, Computer Associates/Platinum
Technology Forest and Trees and InfoReports, and Brio/Sqribe reporting tools,
among others. Given the strong commitment displayed by Seagate, customers should
feel confident that the products will continue to be supported and improved.
a query/reporting tool should evaluate Seagate Software's solutions. The company
has taken bold steps, especially in their "free software initiative", to gain
market share over their competitors, and it is clear that Seagate is in the
query/reporting market for the long haul. Seagate Technology divested Seagate
Software's network and storage management product line, which would seem to
be closer to their core business (Seagate Technology is the world's largest
manufacturer of disk drives), in favor of the Information Management Group.
This level of corporate commitment should be taken into account during the selection
process, especially given the fact that many of Seagate's competitors have huge,
diversified product lines where any particular product could be discontinued
at any time.
Crystal product line should be included on any company's list of candidates
for a query/reporting tool selection.