Important Industry Announcements

By Geoffrey James

SAGE announced that three of its business partners have dropped competing products from Microsoft and SAP in order to become “Sage Select” business partners. The three new Sage Select business partners, CompuData Inc., Milestone Information Solutions and Soltis Consulting, have agreed to focus exclusively on Sage Software solutions for their sales of business management application software products and services.
Our take: This is the “down and dirty” marketing in the trenches that’s going to make or break the mid-sized vendors like Sage. It’s all about getting enough partners, and the right kind of partners, to deliver your software to the right customers. Microsoft, Oracle and SAP have the advantage of already gigantic networks of ISVs and VARs, so it’s important for Sage to be able to pull their partners away from the behemoths and get them to focus on Sage’s offerings. announced a new Web site that provides the community, tools and resources to let developers build new applications for the AppExchange with toolkits and resources for most multiple development languages, including AJAX, Java, .NET and PHP, allowing developers to combine those applications with other Internet services to create new business applications.
Our take: This would be business as usual for an enterprise vendor like Microsoft, Oracle, SAP or IBM. However, is being extremely ambitious in its deployment of as an integration platform as well as a CRM system. It’s hard to see how can out-develop some of these larger vendors in the so-called “middleware” space, but if they’re going to do so, it’s programs like this that can support the effort.

Netsuite launched “NetSuite Software Company Edition,” which is designed to manage a software business and the software customer life cycle. It adds financial management functionality including revenue recognition and usage-based billing and new versions of NetSuite’s AJAX Dashboards, designed to give software company executives and frontline users real-time visibility into the key performance indicators.
Our take: This is one of those ideas that leave you slapping your head, wondering: “Why didn’t I think of that?” Netsuite took the stuff it developed for in-house usage of its own sales team, made it more general, and is rolling it out as an industry-specific application. Brilliant. You can’t imagine the mess that most software companies are in when it comes to tracking billing, especially since companies have moved away from one-time perpetual license fees. Bravo!

RIM (Blackberry) signed a definitive licensing and settlement agreement with NTP, the company that was threatening to shut down all Blackberry communications. All terms of the agreement have been finalized and the litigation against RIM has been dismissed by a court order. RIM paid NTP $612.5 million in full and final settlement of all claims against RIM, as well as for a perpetual, fully paid license going forward.
Our take: If you’ve been following this case and wondering whether your Blackberry would stop working with your CRM system, you can rest easy. RIM has taken it on the chin to ensure that service will go uninterrupted. What’s unfortunate about this is that the company that sued RIM has patents where there is apparently no actual connection, in terms of code base or even algorithms, to the RIM application. Unfortunately, U.S. patent law is creating hordes of these parasitical IP companies who buy up obsolete patents and then hold innovative companies hostage with legal threats. This is not good for the high-tech industry because it discourages innovation and encourages pettifogging legalism.