StepOne SA, a French newborn – created in July 1995 – specialist in the dynamic exchange of information apparently has technology that has put a gleam in the eye of technicians at Lotus Development Corp. Why? Because, while many companies provide technologies to cut, paste and disseminate information from one application, StepOne provides for the […]
StepOne SA, a French newborn – created in July 1995 – specialist in the dynamic exchange of information apparently has technology that has put a gleam in the eye of technicians at Lotus Development Corp. Why? Because, while many companies provide technologies to cut, paste and disseminate information from one application, StepOne provides for the dynamic, automatic update of that data after it has been cut and pasted into other documents. Example: a user has a real-time stock quote application, where share price changes are transmitted from the stock market. The user can select any part of the stock quote application, put it in a Windows screen and send it, via the StepOne server, to any number of client posts. Once a user at one of the clients opens the window, it will see the numbers change only a few seconds after they change on the main application, without having to store and reload the client application. With the new version of StepOne for Lotus Notes and Lotus’ Domino Web server, users can do the same thing with Notes documents or web pages. The software is also format intelligent, preserving the parameters of, for example, Excel spreadsheet cells once they’ve been pasted into a web page, rather just the usual simple text format. The need for maintaining and updating web pages goes away, you change the page only when you want to change the content! said one industry expert who is working on a US marketing plan for the company and who presented its technology to Lotus. I took the Lotus manager responsible for identifying the best technology in the world to use with Domino, and one other manager to see the StepOne demo, and they went nuts, she said. If we can do this thing right, this one is a rocket. The company has about a dozen clients in Europe, including French cosmetics maker Yves Rocher, and Usinor-Sacilor. In the US, StepOne is looking at three channels of distribution: Notes integrators, consultancies including Cap Gemini SA and Electronic Data Systems Corp, and partners, such as Lotus Development Corp, SAP AG, Peoplesoft Inc, BusinessObjects SA. Company managing director Christophe Cremer worked for Citibank in France as an account manager and then started an accounting software firm called Sybel Informatique about 10 years ago. When he sold Sybel to Sage Software in the UK in 1995, it had revenues of approximately $35m. StepOne’s technology was initiated four years ago in a department of Paris-based GT Finance, which used it internally. GT Finance, which has since become Cristal Finance, owns 56% of the company. That shareholding is likely to be diluted in the next few months, however, when the company locates an investor for its US launch. It has approximately $3m from French venture capital firms.