Seagate Etches New Crystal

SeagateSoftware wants to tell the world that it is aware of the need for Web-basedenterprise reporting systems -- and that it is working on it.

Seagate,known for its reporting tool Crystal Reports, has laid out plans for anentirely Web-based reporting solution designed for managing the delivery ofinformation across the Internet.

The newproduct will be named Crystal Enterprise and is expected to hit the marketsometime during the first half of 2001. “Crystal Enterprise is really the nextgeneration of Seagate Info. This is a leapfrogging. We are changing the name tobuild on the Crystal brand, but there’s also a significant enhancement over theInfo product,” says Andrew Handford, director of product management at SeagateSoftware.

On tap forthe reworked and renamed offering is a report publishing infrastructure, anopen API, an application server with cluster fail over, fault tolerance, andload balancing. But one of the most significant new facets is that CrystalEnterprise is built specifically for the Web.

Many Webreporting tools on the market today started out as client/server tools that hadWeb functionality added to them, but this is not the case with CrystalEnterprise. “Our interface is zero client. Seagate Info is retrofitting for theWeb, but Crystal Enterprise is built specifically for the Web,” Handford says.“We will now have a benchmark as a Web application, we wanted to build aproduct from the ground up for the Web.”

Yes, thechanges that will be included in the release of Crystal Enterprise are bignews, but Mike Schiff, vice president, e-business and businessintelligence, at Current Analysis says that the name change is the mostimportant aspect of this announcement. “The most significant thing is that theSeagate name is missing. They are back to using the name Crystal. They aregoing after enterprise reporting and showing they can do more than just makedisks,” Schiff says. “They are building on the Crystal brand. Everyone usesCrystal Reports and knows what is. That can only help. I am sure that they aregoing to spin off Seagate Software and create a Crystal Software, I wouldexpect that.”

The productannouncement was a preview, and Seagate still has not declared when CrystalEnterprise will grace the market. “It’s in final release candidate, and we’llrelease it when our beta customers tell us its ready,” Handford says. “We tendto make announcements after the product ships, but we’re trying to getexcitement up about it. We don’t want people to mistake this for a productannouncement.”

Schiffthinks Seagate’s approach to the product announcement is a good one. “They didclever things and they’re keeping themselves alive. All of the focus on Seagateis usually on the disk drives,” Schiff says. “They are definitely scaling upand moving into the enterprise, and I am pleased they are using the Crystalname. They need to remind the world that they’re out there. People need to knowyou’re there and who you are.”


SeagateSoftware Inc., ScottsValley, Calif.,
Current Analysis, Sterling, Va.,