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Microstrategy Lures Information Advantage Users.

Microstrategy Inc is making a play for Information Advantage customers by offering them the chance to migrate to its software, rather than upgrade to rival Sterling Software Inc's offerings. Earlier this month, Sterling announced plans to acquire business intelligence software vendor Information Advantage for $163m in cash. But the deal isn't expected to close until some time next month and in the interim, Microstrategy's COO Sanju Bansal says that IA customers will get left by the wayside. "When companies are acquiring other companies there is always a defocusing of strategy and customers inevitably get left in the lurch," he said.

Under the deal, Microstrategy is offering IA customers a dollar for dollar credit for any software they have purchased. For example, a user that spent $500 on IA software will automatically be given $500 of Microstrategy products for free. Bansal says the company will offer IA customers a clean upgrade to its business intelligence platform, DSS Suite. "A lot of people are feeling insecure about their future with IA right now, and understandably so," he said. "We've seen it in the past with Hyperion and Arbor for example. When a company gets bought out, the customers are unclear they'll ever get an upgrade path. The product development people usually leave and there's no strategy going forward." Bansal said the firm that does the acquiring typically just milks the revenue stream of the other firm and pays little attention to its customer

base. As well as Hyperion/Arbor, he also points to the acquisition of Holos by Seagate, in 1997, as another example of an buy-out that went wrong and left customers stranded. And IA itself, he added, even messed up its purchase of IQ last year, when most of the IQ base fled because they couldn't see any vision going forward. "What we're highlighting isn't the exception, it's the rule," he said.
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 27, 1999
Words:312
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