Speedware launches revival with buyback
OpenMPE re-invents developer's resource

3000 vendor's buyback leverages new efforts

When Speedware purchased itself for $12.9 million this summer, it opened the doors for new efforts in migration operations, ones which the company recently extended to the IBM market as well as adding a new tool that enables migrating PowerHouse customers to Java.   

Speedware’s new ownership has already started to pursue fresh avenues. The company announced a major sales, marketing and support deal to use StrongHold software to migrate PowerHouse sites on 3000s to a Java architecture. StrongHold has sold the tool for more than six years, but the 3000 exposure will be new for the software. Speedware, on the other hand, says that PowerHouse has been an element in about 20 percent of the more than 130 migrations it’s completed.

The company is also diving into HP’s mission to get IBM AS/400 shops to migrate to HP’s Unix, Windows or Linux environments. A well-known migration tool, ML-impact, will help Speedware get these older IBM enterprises onto .NET architecture for migration and modernization.

Then there’s the other prospects that internal ownership promises to Speedware. While the company cut loose its operations in the sectors of lumber and building materials, automotive aftermarkets, wholesale trade, and hardware and home-center retailing, Speedware has kept its OpenERP division in the transfer of ownership. This company offers an alternative to the MM II and eXegySys HP 3000 sites through migration to an OpenERP package that runs on a wide array of environments. OpenERP is run by some of the former management of eXegeSys, which offered a way off of MM II.

The 3000 migration market continues to show significant business prospect for Speedware. Of three focuses the company’s taken on, “the HP 3000 community is a very strong focus,” Kulakowski said, “even more so now that we are allowed to invest in what we feel is appropriate. Activant always felt that was a declining market and was always very reluctant to add any cost to those efforts, in headcount and other areas.”

The company president said Speedware has already added headcount for migration work since the departure from Activant. “We plan on making sure we are very active, so that we can ensure the possibility of a acquiring every migration opportunity that is out there. We feel we’re the best-resourced HP 3000 skill company. If there are any interesting, complex 3000 migrations to be done, we believe we are the best organization to do that.”

Some untapped portion of the migration business for 3000 sites lies in offers for do it yourself (DIY) software and advice. Many sites have wanted an outside services company to take charge of a migration, but many more need to migrate in-house to leverage internal resources and control budgets. Speedware’s marketing director Chris Koppe said he believes about 25 percent of the migration revenues at the company come from DIY today. It’s an area the vendor wants to expand with the help of partners. AMXW and DBMotion are Speedware’s DIY tools, but ScreenJet and Marxmeier’s Eloquence will have expanded roles to play.

The new ownership structure that includes employees may offer the deepest impact, Kulakowski said. “They didn’t just sign up for a job,” by owning a share. “They are signed up for a cause.”