WRQ Wants Piece of Wall Data Action

If the folks at NetManage think they can just swallow up Wall Data while WRQ watches from the terminal emulation sidelines, they've got another think coming. Quickly reacting to the acquisition of the number three player in terminal emulation, number four has launched the WRQ Open Door Program, a free road map that welcomes Wall Data Rumba and Cyberprise customers to the wonderful world of Reflection.

The WRQ Open Door Program offers Rumba and Cyberprise customers in North America the opportunity to receive WRQ’s corresponding Reflection product, with the matching number of per-seat licenses, for free. Customers who have a current Wall Data maintenance agreement also will receive gratis six months of maintenance from WRQ for the matching number of per-seat licenses. WRQ products will include automated tools to help Rumba and Cyberprise customers upgrade smoothly to Reflection. The offer extends through the end of January 2000.

"There's no obligation here. They don't have to relinquish the rights to any software," says Shaun Wolfe, vice president of WRQ’s host access group. "We look at this as an investment into future potential relationships with that install base. At a time when there's a lot of uncertainty, they have an opportunity to use Reflection with no obligation."

Wolfe explains that much of WRQ's business comes from replacing existing install bases, and the company is constantly engaged in activity that would help it do that. Wolfe says that with the acquisition of Wall Data, and the resulting uncertainty, there would have been customers coming WRQ’s way anyway. "This is recognition that a long term relationship is worth more than a short term investment," Wolfe says.

Steven Drake, senior research analyst at International Data Corp. (IDC, www.idc.com), says WRQ's attempt to grab Wall Data's install base is certainly the most vocal, but that doesn't mean other big fish in the host access pond -- such as IBM Corp. and Attachmate Corp. (www.attachmate.com) -- aren't offering similar deals, as well.

Drake also comments that he doubts there will be a widespread exodus of the Rumba congregation. "I think in some specific enterprise scenarios where WRQ and Wall Data coexist, [WRQ] has an opportunity to gain some seats," Drake observes. "But there's not going to be wholesale removals of Wall Data's entire deployment."