The Santa Cruz Operation Forum saw the unveiling of the company’s much touted Tarantella technology, first released to developers back in January. SCO claims the technology is so revolutionary that it’s currently having trouble finding an existing product category that adequately describes its new baby. Essentially it’s a snazzy piece of middleware designed to allow […]
The Santa Cruz Operation Forum saw the unveiling of the company’s much touted Tarantella technology, first released to developers back in January. SCO claims the technology is so revolutionary that it’s currently having trouble finding an existing product category that adequately describes its new baby. Essentially it’s a snazzy piece of middleware designed to allow mainframe and Windows applications to be delivered to Java-enabled clients alongside Unix system applications. The company says what makes it different is an Adaptive Internet Protocol, which tunes itself to the particular protocol being used, delivering data to Java- enabled clients at optimum performance. The technology can apparently be slotted into existing systems without the need for an architectural overhaul. SCO is only now in the process of turning Tarantella into a product. And while it wasn’t specific, the company added that it’s looking at providing some development tools and other add-ons at a later date. The roadmap for Tarantella already looks convoluted. It’s just started beta testing and the company is describing the latest move as its first preview release with a second due in September. The 1.0 release for UnixWare, Sparc and Solaris is expected to be shipping to enterprise customers by the end of the year with a volume channel opening up in the first quarter of 1998. More Unix ports should follow in the 1.1 release due out in the second quarter with a Windows NT release scheduled for late next year. The company says it will also put out another major release, provisionally called Tarantella 2.0, in the fourth quarter but didn’t reveal any further details. SCO’s enterprise aspirations, signaled by the release of Tarantella, look to be a radical change of emphasis for a company better known as a provider of low-end Unix systems on Intel.
Head on the block
We asked Ray Anderson, recently appointed SCO senior vice president marketing for product business units, about the daunting task of selling a technology without a name which the company is heavily reliant on to revamp its fortunes. Anderson says he is confident about the two new releases but admits the choice to focus marketing on Tarantella and Gemini is unusual given that UnixWare currently accounts for 15% of its server revenue and that Tarantella has yet to be launched. Does Anderson feel his head is on the block if these things don’t sell? I’ve kept my shares in the company so my head’s on the block anyway. He adds: I think people’s heads should be on the block, Alok (SCO President and chief executive) has made people more accountable and if I don’t get the message across I’ll be fired – that’s the same anywhere. He’s also quick to acknowledge SCO needs to increase its visibility and to market itself more strongly, emphasizing the need to work more closely with its existing partners. Which of the new releases does Anderson see as the more important product for the company? In the short term I think Tarantella is probably less important than UnixWare, but it’s like asking whether you need air or food more. We may not be getting any revenue from Tarantella yet but I think it’s got great potential.