Wednesday, October 31, 2001

OSA becomes ManageSoft

Published in Interface Tech News

NASHUA, N.H. ‹ Open Software Associates changed its name to ManageSoft Corporation on Oct. 1 in an effort to clarify its brand and message. The move was underscored by the renaming of the company's flagship NetDeploy Global product‹ now ManageSoft version 6.0 ‹ the major change of which is in the name.

Bob Thaler, director of product marketing, said the decision stemmed from market research that produced disappointing results.

"We found that we were limited in our marketing reach," Thaler said. "We needed to develop a name and brand that was more closely related to what we do."

With the help of branding consultant Jack Trout, who heads up Old Greenwich, Conn.-based Trout & Partners, the company chose a new name, to showcase its focus on software management and deployment.

While the names have changed, not much about the product or the company is new, Thaler said. The software employs the metaphor of a warehouse for software, showing users that there are receiving, inventory, picking, and shipping aspects to the program.

"It is a place where a customer does everything they need to do," he said, pointing out that the system can be set to deploy software over a network to remote users whenever they are connected. This allows reliable updating of laptops, as well as desktop machines, according to Thaler.

Neal Goldman, a research director at the Boston-based Yankee Group, said the product doesn't seem to have any major improvements over its competition. He said there are existing software-audit programs and those that deploy software, but they are largely independent and used in that way.

"Not everybody has both (systems)," Goldman said, although he liked the warehouse model for its possibilities. "If you could actually return stuff to the warehouse (that would be new)," he added.

According to Goldman, the market for this type of software is not large. "It's never been a huge market in terms of absolute dollars," he explained. Software auditing is less than a $400 million business, and other aspects of the ManageSoft software are included in larger systems-management packages like OpenView, he said.