The biggest challenge for the company formerly known as Seagate Software will be the marketing of its re-branded products, according to one analyst.
In February, Seagate became Crystal Decisions Inc. and in March, the newly-named company launched Crystal Enterprise, an enterprise reporting and analysis system that includes Crystal Reports Professional and Crystal Analysis Professional. According to Jacqueline Coolidge, acting director of the data warehousing and business intelligence program at Framingham, Mass.-based Hurwitz Group Inc., the change in name will make it challenging for Crystal Decisions to market itself, but the company is already a leader in the area of enterprise networks reporting and analysis.
“They’ve also done a lot to ensure their enterprise customers that they have greater scalability and reliability to support extranet deployments,” Coolidge said. “Their traditional products were designed for client server implementations and for a small number of users. Now that so many customers are beginning to deploy business intelligence beyond the firewall, they’ve done a lot to ensure scalability and reliability, and that’s a really important requirement in the market today.”
Crystal Enterprise is the fourth generation of Crystal Decisions’ software and has been around in one form or another for six years now, said Roger Sanborn, senior program manager of Crystal Enterprise. This newest release is based on all of the knowledge the company has gained since the original launch of its enterprise products and was designed to be a cross-platform, multi-tier application for information delivery, recording and analysis, he said.
“It’s really meant to be the information infrastructure and enterprise delivery system that allows people within a thin client…environment to interact with their structured knowledge,” Sanborn said.
In this release, according to Sanborn, Crystal Enterprise supports any application based on any Web server. He added the system is customizable and allows network administrators to integrate the ability to deliver structured knowledge directly into an intranet, extranet or Internet-based portal.
“The real strength of Crystal Enterprise is in the distributed architecture, making it so that you can take all that content and publish it out to the masses,” Sanborn said. Before being launched in March, Crystal Enterprise went through seven months of beta testing in more than 300 companies, he added.
The Crystal Reports part of the product allows for the construction of detailed reports and graphs from data collected from Crystal Analysis, which can be published as an XML, DHTML or PDF data source. Users can opt to format the report however they wish and publish it to an intranet, extranet or Internet site and make the existence of Crystal Reports invisible to those viewing the information, Sanborn said.
Crystal Decisions’ Crystal Enterprise is available now and has flexible pricing, depending how companies wish to purchase. Licences can be bought per named user (starting at US$400), per concurrent user (starting at US$3,500) or as a server or processor licence (starting at US$40,000 per processor). Crystal Decisions can be found on the Web at www.crystaldecisions.net.