Seagate launches Crystal Enterprise, gets $US20b in buyout

Seagate Software has released Crystal Enterprise (CE), saying the enterprise reporting solution is the "evolution" of Seagate business information tools.

Bill Gibson, chief operating officer of Seagate Software - the business intelligence (BI) software division of disk drive maker Seagate Technology - said the solution takes full advantage of the Web to allow businesses to download enterprise information with speed, clarity and ease.

"CE lets organisations access information from disparate e-business applications from enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain and data warehousing to knowledge management, as well as legacy systems," he said.

The solution integrates with any other core database like Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle.

As part of a strategic partnership with Microsoft, Seagate CE will be bundled with Microsoft's Visual Studio. US analysts said the bundling is significant to the developer community as it will provide a "decision analysis tool" for building Windows and .Net-based Internet applications.

CE has been in global beta testing since June among financial services, banking, large telecommunications and high-tech manufacturing companies, Gibson said. Local early adopters include Telstra, the Western Australian Police Force and National Australia Bank. Gibson said he also expects high take-up from the healthcare, medical research and high-tech education sectors - organisations that need to "cross-pollinate" their database information.

The enterprise reporting tool will generate 50 per cent revenue growth for Seagate Technology over the next financial year, Gibson estimated.

In other news, Silicon Valley leveraged buyout (LBO) firm SilverLake Partners and storage management vendor Veritas Software acquired Seagate Technology this month in a $US20 billion cash and stock buyout.

Silver Lake will provide entry for Seagate into global strategic alliances and provide management guidance on high-level technical, strategic and organisational issues, Gibson told Computerworld. Assets will be split between Silver Lake and Veritas. "They're very bullish on the Australian IT market," he said of the IT investor group which has financial backing from Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle senior management members, namely Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. "Silver Lake believes Seagate Software can become the dominant ERP player in the BI space," Gibson said.

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