Geac merges business units

Geac, the Canadian company that acquired Dun & Bradstreet Software in 1996, has merged its mainframe and client server units.

The company’s new SmartEnterprise Solutions division will focus on both the Millennium mainframe suite and SmartStream client/server applications – 30% of clients use both the products – as well as emerging technologies such as Web-based applications and outsourcing for clients.

The company acknowledged that the new division is an attempt to counteract customer perceptions that the two old divisions felt like two separate companies.

The new division will include an outsourcing facility, which will allow, for example, a client to upgrade a Geac Millennium installation, with Geac managing the back-end functions from a service centre.

Steve Shine, UK manager for the SmartEnterprise Solutions Division, said: ‘People can’t migrate from a mainframe to a client server overnight – but we can help with this.’

Although Geac’s heritage is in the mainframe market, it is keen to target the mid-range sector, he added.

Competitors, however, suggested that Geac’s ‘me-too’ move into the mid-market would not rescue it from the same competitive pressures which beset it at the top end.

Mark Lane, marketing director for PeopleSoft warned Geac that it will find itself squeezed from two sides in the mid-range market: ‘Geac got its strategy right when it adopted Microsoft’s SQL Server database a year ago, but high-end companies like PeopleSoft and SAP are also moving into the middle market.’

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