"We are magicians." That’s what
employees of Israel-based Magic Software Enterprises (MSE) refer themselves as. Such
unconventional self-addressing is perhaps prompted from MSE’s success in Rapid Application
Development (RAD) market leaving its competitors like Delphi gasping for breath. (RAD is
its visual programming environment based on a unique post-4GL technology that replaces
traditional development coding processes with an automated, completely table-driven
programming environment.) The result has been reflected in MSE’s bottomline. Its revenue
has jumped from $ 16.8 million in 1993 to $ 36.4 million in 1996. This means a growth of
almost 117 percent in just three years. Interestingly, more than 90 percent of the
company’s revenue comes from outside Israel, unlike some other vendors for whom normally
it is the other way round. Says David Assia, Chairman and CEO, "In Israel, if you
don’t export, you are dead. You cannot develop products only for the local market."
Now MSE’s target is to reach $ 100 million by the year 2000.
MSE was established in 1989. A successful
IPO in August 1991 in NASDAQ established MSE which is today the second largest software
company in Israel. It has distributors in over 60 countries. Moreover, it has 320-plus
employees in seven subsidiaries which include France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, UK,
MSE sells software and associated services
that provide its customers with substantial productivity benefits in building applications
that solve quantifiable business problems. Over 60,000 development and five lakh
deployment units have been sold to date. Major worldwide customers include AT&T, Ciba
Geigy, Club Med, Digital, Fujitsu, McDonald’s, NEC, NTT, Panasonic, Rolls Royce, United
MSE and AS/400 division of IBM have formed
an alliance to market the former in an open client server computing environment enabling
transparent integration of applications and data across multiple platforms, operating
systems, and integrated databases. MSE also has a partnership agreement with Digital in
support of its AllConnect strategy. Says Avikam Perry, VP (R&D), MSE, "This was
made possible by MSE’s support for transparent integration of applications across all
Digital platforms and operating systems."
In addition to strategic alliances with
Digital and IBM, MSE has formed strong business partnerships with several key companies.
These include agreements on using MSE with SCO for its operating systems, with Pervasive
Software Technology for its BTRIEVE and other software products, with Popkin Systems for
its CASE design tools, and with Mercury Interactive for its software testing tools.
MSE offers a full set of value-added
training and support services to maximize MSE productivity. The services include:
- Magic Solutions Partners Program: A powerful
package of special product pricing, marketing materials, and value-added training and
support services designed to help Magic Solutions Partners achieve maximum profitability
through Magic development efforts.
- Magic Consulting: It brings the experience
of Magic experts well-versed in a variety of programming scenarios and computer
environments for projects such as RADD, prototyping, and rightsizing.
- Magic University: An intense training
program designed to quickly increase Magic proficiency. Courses are available for every
level of experience, from the basic Magic concept to expert programming, including all
client server configurations.
- Magic User Groups: Bring Magic developers
together in a forum for sharing programming and applications concepts and techniques.
There are currently over 40 active groups worldwide.
Says Perry, "Unlike its major
competitors, MSE’s approach offers the advantage of a single uniform programming paradigm
regardless of architecture [LAN, client server, Internet], platforms [Windows, Unix,
AS/400, Open VMS, NT], and databases [Oracle, Informix, Sybase, SQL Server]."
Adds Assia, "The economic implications
for lifetime cost-of-ownership