Archive: October 1998 — Corel’s bumpy road

Beggars shouldn’t be choosers

Comdex Quebec in Montreal played host to 25,000 attendees, but vendors grumbled about the types of visitor stopping at their booths at the October 1998 tradeshow. Complaining

that there were too many “”tire-kickers”” and too few qualified VARs and corporate buyers in attendance, some vendors questioned the validity of being a part of the show.

In late 2002, this decision was made for them. Comdex organizers permanently pulled the plug on Comdex Quebec and Comdex Vancouver, leaving a void for regional channel professionals.

Oracle releases its kung-fu grip on the mid-market

Oracle Corp. tried to make peace within the channel by launching a US$500-million per year partner program to bolster resellers and lessen channel conflict. The program was unveiled at Oracle’s partner preview of its 8i database where it was made clear that Oracle thought it should be up to customers to decide how they want to acquire and deploy software.

By early 2000, Oracle had backed away from the mid-market and put its trust in the hands of its resellers.

Corel continues its roller coaster ride

Corel announced in the fall of 1998 that despite its seventh straight quarterly loss, the company’s financial situation was on the upswing. The Ottawa-based company’s then-CEO Michael Cowpland said that despite the loss, “”I think the results clearly show Corel’s business plan is working.””

Since then, Corel has been on a roller coaster ride, by shifting management, acquiring companies, changing its sales strategy, beefing up its offerings and then paring them down. Most recently the company invited a takeover bid from a San Francisco venture capital firm and was dumped by Microsoft in the wake of a lawsuit.

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