Business-like, isn't he?


 

 




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ISSUE 468: The high-tech office- Oct 13 1998

ALAN ZISMAN

Software companies and high tech service providers
are thriving and multiplying in the local market

Last week, we started looking at a year in the life of local technology companies -- at least the ones that have taken the trouble to contact me. In true Sesame Street fashion, we got halfway down the alphabet, to the letter M. Here's everybody else:

NetNation Communication has grown to become the third largest Web-hosting company in the world and has signed an agreement to work with Network Solutions, the world's largest Domain Registration Service Provider (www.netnation.com).

PeakSoft deserted the Lower Mainland for Bellingham, but we like them anyway. They produce Peakjet, which accelerates Web browsing, and have recently come out with a new version
of the product, PeakJet 2000, adding speed and enhancing user-friendliness (www.peak.com).

Pears is an innovative online electronic parts-ordering site, bringing to-
gether potential customers and suppliers. The company's presentation was a hit at the Electronic Distributor Show in Las Vegas (www.pearsnet.com).

Pivotal Software won Microsoft's award for Best Mobile Sales Solution. The company is the leading supplier of mobile-enabled customer-relationship-management applications, building on Microsoft's BackOffice system. They released version 2 of Pivotal Relationship late last year and have been rewarded with strong sales growth (www.pivotal.com).

Seagate Software has been very busy, expanding uses for its Crystal Reports product. Crystal Info 6 has shipped, combining OLAP and channel push technology with database reporting from Crystal Reports 6. Seagate's Holos has emerged as a comprehensive application development environment for data warehousing, rounding out the company's product line, offering "a single end-to-end Business Intelligence Solution." Seagate's Baja product extends Crystal Reports' capabilities to Visual Basic programming. Micro-soft is including a customized, limited version of Crystal Reports in BackOffice 4.0 (www.seagatesoftware.com).

Sideware Systems has produced Net Notion, an innovative program allowing networked users to add notes to Web pages, whether on the corporate intranet or on the broader Internet. The company is also hosting Interest Groups, letting users chat interactively while viewing the same Web page (www.sideware.com).

SmartyPants Studios has begun publishing an online magazine, January, which despite the name appears more than once a year. It focuses on publishing news, with book reviews, interviews and author profiles (www.smartypants.net).

Softline Systems is perhaps the world's leading developer of add-ons for the widely used AccPac accounting software and has recently added ODBC Link to its product line (www.soft-linesystems.com).

Software Productivity Centre has evolved from a non-profit resource centre for software developers to a for-profit company developing products to aid developers. It has partnered with giant development tool company Rational Software Corp. (www.
spc.ca
).

Strategic Resources Inc. has added a multifunctional kiosk to its Virtual City Hall software. Features include BookIt, allowing kiosk users to register for classes and facilities. The City of Richmond is among the clients now using the kiosks (www.sri.bc.ca).

Sun Microsystems (no, not a Vancouver company) has launched Living Mathematics, a Sun Software Information and Technology Exchange (Sun SITE) location at the University of B.C. to help mathematicians develop and publish Java-based software (sunsite.ubc.ca).

Synergy Computer Consulting offers custom software development, including Windows database development (www.
synergycc.com
). The company also owns Softsearch, the world's largest database of commercial software, offering a free Basic Developer Listing of company descriptions (www.softsearch.com), and Open Road Communications, a highly regarded Web development company (www.oroad.com).

The Alexandra Projects has produced SmartDesk, which the company describes as a third-generation screensaver. It uses the screensaver to broadcast information to employees, allow for user training or to display marketing or promotional information on screen. Clients include Xerox, Orca Bay and the B.C. Ministry of Tourism (smartdesk.tap.bc.ca/).

Towncore Internet, a local Internet Service Provider, has launched WiredBiz to provide a membership-based forum for B.C. businesses with an interest in technology (www.wiredbiz.com).

Vertigo Technology has just released Vertigo HotText version 1.5, an upgrade to its award-winning product for creating 3D text effects in Adobe PhotoShop. Free trial versions can be downloaded (www.vertigo3d.com).

Xceedx Technologies' Xpress Internet Toolkit is a rapid-development tool to allow developers to quickly develop database-based electronic commerce Web sites. The company has been recognized by the Financial Post as one of Canada's up and coming technology companies (www.xceedx.com).

As you can see, the local software industry doesn't quite take us from A to Z, but it's close! If your business didn't make the list this week or last, feel free to get in touch (e-mail is best), to be included the next time I clean up my desk. *

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Alan Zisman is a Vancouver educator, writer, and computer specialist. He can be reached at E-mail Alan