May 1992

Lotus, SBC/OC team up on real-time financial software

by Simson L. Garfinkel and Laurie Flynn

Cambridge, MA: Lotus Development Corporation plans to announce next month a codevelopment deal with Chicago-based Swiss Bank Corporation/O'Connor Services (SBC/OC) to create a real-time trading application based on Improv. The project is being funded in part by NeXT Computer.

The software will be available in the third quarter from SBC/OC, according to Gary Meshell, New YorkÐbased international sales manager in Lotus's financial services division. Meshel said NeXT, Lotus, and SBC/OC plan to announce the product June 25 at the Securities Industry Association show in New York. Meshell declined to give further details.

The development deal should give a boost to sales of Improv, whose fate has recently been the subject of speculation. Lotus officials said that Improv 2.0 would be available for Windows by the end of the year but have made no comment about when the upgrade would be available for the NeXT.

According to Jeff Anderholm, Improv group product manager at Lotus, sales of the NeXT version have dragged because of a "fairly long evaluation-sales cycle for NeXT hardware." But, he added, sales have increased gradually over the past year.

"We can only sell units as fast as NeXT expands the market," Anderholm said.

"Furthermore, the majority of people who bought NeXT machines last year already had Improv," he said, because NeXT bundled Improv with hardware upgrades during the first quarter of 1991.

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