Seagate Targets Corporations with BI Tools
- By Scott Bekker
Seagate Software today began shipping CDs with a free version of its Info 7 business intelligence suite complete with 50 user licenses and no time limit. Also on the CD, Seagate bundled a free, new desktop business intelligence tool called Analysis.
What Seagate (www.seagatesoftware.com) really wants is to convince corporate buyers they must have Info 7 at hundreds or thousands of seats. "We're banking on the fact that most companies are not going to find that 50 seats meets their needs," says Ken McGovern, product marketing manager for Seagate Info.
The freeware marketing campaign puts meat on a theme Seagate has been fleshing out since before releasing Info 7 in December. Seagate contends the features in business intelligence tools that users employ on their desktops are becoming commodities. "We know that the value is the infrastructure bringing them together," says Tony Wind, Seagate's vice president of product management. "We have the best sort of client tools. We're willing to put them together in a product like Analysis for free."
With its first shipment, Seagate targeted 900,000 IT professionals in North America and 400,000-600,000 elsewhere. Seagate plans two more similar shipments. "It is really the biggest, most concentrated initiative the company has ever undertaken," McGovern says.
Those left off the mailing list can download Analysis, about a 40-MB file, from Seagate's Web site. Seagate is also taking orders for the CD with both free products.
The version of Info 7 on the CD is considered a maintenance release of Info. It includes a simplified installation with fewer choices and computer-based training for walking administrators through setting up security and user groups. New features allow creation of custom intranet portals or desktop views and integration with Analysis.
Analysis includes ad hoc query, reporting and OLAP; direct links to Microsoft Excel; extensive samples to help users figure out how to use the tool; and tight integration with Seagate's enterprise reporting product, Crystal Reports. Analysis allows point-and-click drill down into underlying data supporting a Crystal report.
The free products are supported via e-mail. --Scott Bekker
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.