Informix streamlines database offerings

Informix Software Inc. is bundling its database offerings into packages aimed at specific vertical markets, company officials said last month.

The move comes in response to claims by analysts and users that they had difficulty understanding the company’s database offerings, according to Richard Wozniak, executive director of product management at Informix in Menlo Park, Calif.

One analyst complimented the company’s product line, but said customers have had difficulty figuring it out.

“They have a solid product line, but haven’t made it easy for customers to understand how all the pieces fit together,” said Mike Schiff, an analyst at Current Analysis Inc., in Sterling, Va.

Wozniak acknowledged that Informix has spent too much time marketing the technology, and not enough bundling its products in a clear fashion.

Part of the reasoning behind splitting Informix into a database company and a solutions organization, which occurred last September, is to refocus marketing efforts as separate entities.

“Informix has not been known as a marketing powerhouse,” he added. “We’re trying to change that, and this bundling is a classic marketing tactic.”

The initial bundle, Financial Foundation for Capital Markets, includes Informix Dynamic Server, a Time Series DataBlade, a real-time loader, and a piece for connecting its database to Excel. “The strategy is to offer more of these bundles throughout the year,” Wozniak said. “There are several more that we are working on.”

Wozniak continued that the overall strategy of making its product line clearer will continue into next year, with the launch of a new flagship product, code-named Arrowhead. The forthcoming platform, in which the database server and engine are key, will combine features from a number of Informix databases.

Arrowhead’s development will be aimed at gaining new customers in the e-business market, which Informix expects to be key to its long-term strategy and growth.

“Arrowhead is our entry into the OLTP [on-line transaction processing] and operational data store markets,” Wozniak said.

He also said the company plans to offer a Law Enforcement Bundle, with a DataBlade for categorizing and searching fingerprints. After that, the company plans to offer a Geography Bundle. DataBlades are applications that add functionality to the database.

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