CE Software, Inc., maker of QuickMail and QuicKeys, announced today that it has signed a binding letter of intent to acquire all assets of Powercore, Inc., a developer of Macintosh and DOS network scheduling software. CE plans to integrate Powercore's Network Scheduler 3 and Schedule/DOS products (for which Powercore claims the majority of the LAN calendar and scheduling market) with their QuickMail LAN messaging software.
Once the acquisition is finalized, CE Software says it will be able to boast the third largest installed base of LAN-based workgroup productivity applications, behind Microsoft and Lotus, with an estimate of "well over 2.8 million" workgroup software users. (This may be even more impressive than it sounds; many users that Microsoft and Lotus count in their installed bases don't actually use the workgroup features of the software.)
Powercore's market-share claim is based on a study by IDC released in 1993 that shows the company's products with 62% of the installed "seats," or defined users. The company has been selling its workgroup scheduling products since 1986, well before it was a "hot" field. Powercore's competitors' market share does not, of course, include owners of multi-purpose software that includes scheduling features that aren't being used. It also doesn't include the recent spurt of market share Microsoft has claimed by distributing a large number of free copies of Schedule+ along with Windows.
A key feature of CE's plans for current products and future development is the software's independence from specific network operating systems. Powercore's Network Scheduler 3 is designed to operate using a variety of transport mechanisms; the company has been selling configurations for use with specific LAN-based mail backbones such as cc:Mail, Microsoft Mail, and Novell's Netware MHS, as well as configurations that operate without an existing mail server.
CE Software has been taking an active role in the XAPIA committee and Novell's MHS Alliance, groups that are working towards industry-wide interoperability of mail systems and other workgroup applications regardless of platform or network operating system. The XAPIA committee is a group of messaging vendors developing an extension to the Common Messaging Call (CMC) standard. CE's suggested CMC+ implementation offers an internal API which "can gain access to virtually all commercially-viable messaging systems without loss of key application services," the company said.
Powercore's CEO, Ruchard Juricic, sees his company's acquisition by CE as creating "a union of markets and technologies that open up dynamic new opportunities today, and positions CE Software as a leader in cross-platform workgroup applications for the future." Ford Goodman, CE's president and CEO, agreed, saying "We intend to offer the best calendaring and scheduling solutions in the industry, regardless of network operating system or protocol, application, or platform."
For the time being, Powercore will continue to operate with its own identity. A company representative has told us that no final decision has yet been reached as to whether Powercore will remain a separate entity following completion of the acquisition.
Previously, CE Software experimented with satisfying customer demands for workgroup scheduling by offering ON Technology's Meeting Maker software in bundles with QuickMail products. CE's own Alarming Events software, while it was easy to use and rich in features, was limited to single-user calendars.
CE Software, Inc. -- 800/523-7635 -- 515/221-1801
Powercore, Inc. -- 800/237-4754 -- 815/468-3737
-- Information from:
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