Ex-Tivoli CEO reappears at Asera

One week after resigning as president and CEO of IBM Corp.'s Tivoli Systems Inc. division, David Murphy has taken a job as president and CEO of Asera Inc., a 2-year-old e-business software startup focused on fast growth.

Murphy will succeed Warren Weiss, who will transition out of the top job over the next two quarters.

Belmont, Calif.-based Asera currently has 35 customers but isn't lacking ambition. The company hopes to have tens of thousands of customers in the next few years, pull in hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue, and be a billion-dollar software company in the five-year timeframe, said Ray Lane, a member of Asera's board and a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.

"We think we're a year ahead of the market, but if we don't get the scale, companies like IBM and BEA Systems Inc. will see the value proposition and move in. So we need to get scale quickly," Lane saidAsera develops an integration platform for e-business applications based on a Java application server and XML-based data integration technology. The platform enables enterprises to build "composite applications" by tying together data and transactions from existing applications that can be customize and accessed from multiple devises. The company started by hosting this platform application, and will continue to do so, and is now also productizing the platform for enterprise customers.

Murphy and the outgoing Weiss said the competition right now is from Web services platforms in development from IBM, Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., and others. But those efforts are still in the development phase, they said.

"There's an opportunity to build a whole category around a platform play that provides a heterogeneous way to pull together data and applications and make the enterprise real-time, as opposed to [running in a] back-office mode," Murphy said. "I saw a unique starting point."

Murphy was at Tivoli for 18 months, during which time he extended systems management to include storage management, the Web-based service provider market, and security, he said.

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