Borland drops IDE portfolio

Since acquiring Segue Software to further its focus on application lifecycle management, Borland Software continues to seek a viable buyer for its Integrated Development Enviroment (IDE) business.

The company made the announcement to advance its ALM strategy and divest the IDE portfolio in February.

“We’re being extremely selective with our suitors,” said Borland Canada president and general manager Chris Corey.

“There’s a firm criteria that whoever acquires that part of our company needs to share our vision and respect the importance of those customers to Borland, the vast majority of which are not just IDE customers for Borland but ALM customers as well,” he said.

The company also recently announced roughly 300 layoffs from various international operations, a move that Corey said will have zero impact in Canada. “We will eliminate areas where we feel we’re over resourced and not as productive and efficient and we’ll invest in areas where we’re under resourced in order to be a high valued company,” he said.

The decision to divest the IDE, including Borland Developer Studio (Delphi, C++Builder and C#Builder) and JBuilder product lines comes from Borland’s strategy to secure leadership in the growing ALM sector.

“The ALM strategy includes one pillar that we’ve termed lifecycle quality management, it speaks to building quality into the whole development process,” said Corey.

To further that goal, Borland acquired Lexington, Mass.-based Segue Software, a global software quality and testing solutions company.

“The acquisiton allows us to complete our lifecycle quality management solution so we now have quality assurance and testing solutions,” he added.

Channel impact
Corey said the current restructuring will be positive for Borland’s channel partners.

“The distribution model for IDE is largely channel driven which means the channel will have much more attention from an organization whose focus is exclusive in that market space,” said Corey.

Also, he added, with the acquisition of Segue, the breadth of solutions continues to grow and the need to have partners to help support that breadth continues to increase.

“In the Canadian market, we have a number of Segue partners that will work with our direct teams in promoting and selling the Borland testing solution,” he said.

“It’s increased the relevance of our partner program as it relates to our ALM products.”

Corey added that there is a very mature, functional and effective channel program in place with Borland today around the IDE product line.

“There is a business plan and a product road map and an organizational structure already in place should an acquiring company wish to adopt that holistically,” he said.

“There is no requirement for anybody to start from the ground up, we’ve got a mature relationship with our channel partners with respect to IDE.”

Jeff Largiader, vice-president of sales and marketing at Programmer’s Paradise, one of Borland’s major channel partners, said the impact to resellers will depend on where the IDE group lands.

“There’s a strong viable Borland nation out there and we hope it will be well taken care of,” said Largiader.

Programmer’s Paradise offers not only IDE but Borland’s lifecycle management product line as well.

So Largiader doesn’t expect a severance in its relationship. “We’re actually making plans to expand our coverage of the ALM product line.”

According to Largiader, “the IDEs have come under pressure from the open source community and “free software” and Borland needed to react to that and make the product line profitable.”

Ideally, Largiader would like to see the acquiring company have a management hierarchy that understands developers and the software development community. “They need to know how to market and sell to those people and how to continue to develop those products,” he added.

In the ALM space, said Corey, Borland is actively looking for new partners. “We’d like partners that share the Borland vision and have a quality representation in some of the more regionally diverse areas like the east coast, central Canada, areas in Quebec where its difficult to cover from a centralized model,” said Corey.

In addition, the company is seeking partners with niche areas of expertise such as testing.

The year ahead
No further acquisition intentions have been made but Borland has an open policy, said Corey, “to continue to look for companies that will add value to our solutions, build on our vision and leverage incremental value back to customers.”

Over the next 12 months, Borland will remain focused on software delivery optimization, trying to help organizations transform software development into a business management process, said Corey.

“We’ll be much more relevant in the testing space, especially in Canada as Segue historically didn’t have a large footprint in the Canadian market.”

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