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NEW JERSEY'S THOROUGHBRED SOFTWARE ENJOYS BIG SALES FROM EUROPEAN MARKET

NEW JERSEY'S THOROUGHBRED SOFTWARE ENJOYS BIG SALES FROM EUROPEAN MARKET
 SOMERSET, N.J., April 24 /PRNewswire/ --
 -- As Formula and Championship racing drivers gun their cars around Portugal's tracks, a special timing device feeds their lap times into a computer system which records such details as lap and race position, average, and highest lap speeds.
 -- In England, the same computer software is used by the British Holstein Society to track 300,000 ambling dairy cows, 80 percent of the country's herd, giving dairy farmers data on milk yields, ear tag numbers, parentage, etc., enabling them to improve their bloodstock line.
 -- In Spain and France, hotel chain managers use the software to book reservations, register guests, compute travel agency commissions, and to bill guests and check them out.
 -- In Russia, Italian manufacturer Olivetti is using the software to control its St. Petersburg computer manufacturing facility.
 -- At 33 U.S. Army facilities across Europe, the software has been installed to run an accounting system for base dependents and to operate other non-military programs.
 These are just a few of the 68,000 European installations of the $7.5-million sales Thoroughbred Software International, of Somerset, whose sales are expected to jump 20 percent this year.
 Although Thoroughbred turns out a wide variety of software products, its fourth generation language (4GL) product -- as reflected by the examples above -- has caught on fast. In fact, it is in the thick of an old-fashioned horserace for European 4GL market leadership.
 According to InfoCorp., an analyst of computer industry trends, Thoroughbred already ranks fifth in sales world-wide to the $527-million 4GL market, and Martin Flower, the company's vice president for European Operations, says that 47 percent of all Thoroughbred sales are now being made outside of the U.S. In all, the firm has 150,000 installations world-wide.
 "We're solving business problems in 43 countries around the world," says President John-L Johnson, a software architect pioneer, who launched Thoroughbred from the basement of his New Jersey home in 1982.
 At a time when many U.S. firms are only just beginning to think of exporting, Thoroughbred has a 14-person European sales staff operating from its European headquarters in Romford, Essex, and its German subsidiary, Thoroughbred GmbH, Stuttgart.
 It has also forged a joint venture with Quark Informatica, of Alicante, Spain, to produce both Spanish and Portuguese language versions of its 3GL and 4GL software, and is also marketing them through offices just opened in Santiago, Chile; Caracas, Venezuela; and Mexico City, Mexico.
 Unlike many American exporters, Thoroughbred's creative designers have taken pains to design software that not only can run on 70 different hardware platforms, and interface with other software systems, but which can translate readily into foreign languages and adapt to foreign business customs.
 "We've done things that are absolutely essential to build European market sales," Flower says, "like understanding that spelling and keyboard layouts are different, that some countries use accented characters, require multiple currency data, and don't operate on American daylight savings time."
 Flower adds that all Thoroughbred software can be translated into any of 10 languages -- German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, etc. -- which he says none of Thoroughbred's competitors have attempted to do.
 "It's very, very easy," Flower says, "to transform all the menus, messages, and screen data in our 4GL software from English to another language. It might take 40 hours and you're operating in Spanish or German."
 Another factor in Thoroughbred's 4GL sales pace is that it has a large base of existing 3GL installations across Europe whose operators, Martin says, "are thrilled to convert to 4GL because we've made the transition so easy and 4GL is so much more productive for them."
 Switching to 4GL can reduce the amount of time a company spends coding from 80 percent to as little as 40 percent, Flower says, saving firms large sums now being paid to programmers.
 "Not only is 4GL both easier and less costly to develop, but it's much easier to maintain afterwards," Flower adds.
 Thoroughbred sales are also getting a boost because its software is designed to interface with other applications, say, in Informix and in Cobol. "It's something that's making us very, very popular across Europe," Flower says.
 "Just as the company was built on being portable across hardware platforms using such operating systems as UNIX, XENIX, DOS, and VMS, etc., we're now making ourselves portable across software platforms, too. This way we can sit on top of anybody's databases," he points out.
 Currently, "IX"-type operating systems, based on AT&T's UNIX, are increasing in popularity across Europe, in part because of the large amount of specialized software available.
 Thoroughbred's European developers are cashing in on this because "IX" expands their software's capabilities. It also offers users the option of running and interfacing with specialized non-Thoroughbred software, using standardized C-ISAM data.
 Most Thoroughbred software is installed by a network of 1,200 value added resellers, or VARS, operating in the U.S. and abroad. VARS take the basic software and adapt it for individual business applications.
 Asked what advice he would give to other firms interested in building their export sales, Flower says that, in addition to technology, "you have to have people who understand the foreign markets and are multilingual as well.
 -0- 4/24/92
 /CONTACT: Lynn Alexander, vice president/sales and marketing of Thoroughbred Software International, Inc., 1-800-524-0430/ CO: Thoroughbred Software International Inc. ST: New Jersey IN: SU:


AH-HM -- NY041 -- 2480 04/24/92 12:51 EDT
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