(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| Japan's Solution Providers Enhance Linux Support System
February 24, 1999 (TOKYO) -- Database products and application programs
that run on Linux are being launched in rapid succession in Japan, prompting
solution providers to set up support systems.
|Oracle8 for Linux, slated for release in March, will be watched to monitor
the future of the Linux market. The Oracle database management system
holds a big share in the UNIX and Windows NT database market, and lots
of business application packages are running on the system.
Shigefumi Wada, president of OBIC Business Consultant Co., Ltd. (OBC),
a leading business package vendor, said, "We have already heard users
and sales shops requesting Linux-based services. Accounting software
for the UNIX version of Oracle is slated for release in the fall of
this year at the earliest. I think it will have to be designed to also
An Oracle Corp. Japan spokesman said, "We are confident that when Oracle8
for Linux is released in March this year, many business application
package vendors will support the Linux version." The company added that
it has already received a request to replace hundreds of departmental
servers worth 100 million yen (US$835,000).
Otsuka Shokai Co., Ltd. had left the Linux business to its subsidiary,
10art-ni Corp. But, in October 1998 it organized a UNIX technical support
team consisting of 15 UNIX system engineers who had been stationed in
different divisions within the company. The company started Linux support
in December 1998.
Otsuka Shokai has not yet decided whether it should make Linux sales
in the future. The company said the proper timing will not come until
the business packages are ready and service needs, including customization
and operation support, exceed a certain level.
Naoyuki Yoshida, president of Top Management Service Inc., a solution
provider handling the OBC products, said, "OBC is scheduled to release
accounting software for the Windows NT version of Oracle in June. We
intend to use it to build a Linux-based system and launch the business
ahead of competitors. This will slash the operating system cost, and
will enable us to sell the products easily to small- and medium-scale
If the company takes no action, but make sales simply by reducing the
operating system price, it would lose the service price calculated on
the basis of hardware and package prices. As a consequence, solution
providers will sell their products at a set price, including the support
Yokogawa Rental & Lease Corp. (YRL), a sales agency of Hewlett-Packard
Japan Ltd. (HP Japan), is such a company. Since December 1998, YRL has
incorporated software such as Linux, free Web server and file server
in HP Japan's PC server dubbed NetServer LC3 and sold it for 1,446,000
yen (US$12,000), including support. About one third of the price is
for service, YRL said.
When a request for Linux-related items is found in business plans handled
by HP Japan's direct sales team, YRL will follow up the request.
Hitachi Software Engineering Co., Ltd. plans a business one step ahead
of the set sales bundled with the service. The company began to menu
and offer the Linux-based system integration support services in January
Hitachi Software Engineering has established a system which allows its
Linux technical support department to make any kind of system proposals
for Linux in cooperation with the sales and system design departments.
In parallel, the company is studying how to run Web-based applications
It plans to gain a revenue of a bit less than 100 million yen (US$835,000)
from the total of the Linux-related hardware, software and services
in fiscal 1998 (March settlement term), and aims at a one billion yen
turnover in fiscal 1999.
While solution providers proceeding with measures for Linux businesses
are increasing, leading hardware makers such as NEC Corp. and Fujitsu
Ltd. are being careful about handling Linux business.
One package vendor said the reason is they dislike breaking the cooperative
relationship with Microsoft Corp.
Further details will be available in the Feb. 19 issue of Nikkei Watcher
on IT Business (in Japanese).
Linux Products Roll Out for Japanese Corporate
Oracle Japan Moves Forward Shipment Date of
Linux Surfaces As Alternative to Windows NT
Watcher on IT Business)
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