SoftGen makes Rational decision

SoftGen makes Rational decision

Setting its sights on gaining a seat at the IBM distribution table, SoftGen is working on an agreement to on-sell the vendor's Rational software development tools.

Managing director, Bruce Allan, said discussions started after the software distributor's major vendor, Borland, sold off its integrated development environment business in May.

"When Borland spun off the division we no longer had access to those products. So we opted to go shopping and IBM was the logical choice," he said. The Rational product suite was an equivalent package which filled the gap, Allan said. SoftGen's main focus would be on the software tools which supported infrastructure for multiple developers sharing code and overall lifecycle management.

He cited Rational Rose, Requisite Pro, Robot and ClearCase as of key interest.

"The only one we'll really be excluding is XDE, which is in conflict with our Borland products," he said.

Borland currently represents more than half of the distributor's total revenues. IBM restructured its software distribution line-up in February to emphasise product specialisation. Under the revised model, Express Data, itX and Avnet were awarded the right to distribute the vendor's Rational and WebSphere products. All were required to invest in training and resources.

Allan said SoftGen would also have to prove itself in order to secure official distributor status.

He said IBM had initially been reluctant to award SoftGen distribution status. "At the moment we work with IBM as an opportunity arises to move towards distributor status," Allan said. "We're now halfway between reseller and distributor."

An IBM official refused to comment on its current discussions with SoftGen. Although the IBM deal would largely round out its portfolio, Allan said SoftGen was also looking for vendor options in the terminal emulation space.

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