Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

WP Windows is selling well again

Expand Messages
  • John Rethorst
    March 17, 2005 WordPerfect Selling Well, Thank You Very Much Under the guidance of Corel CEO Amish Mehta, WordPerfect has rebounded from past difficulties. By
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 25, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      March 17, 2005

      WordPerfect Selling Well, Thank You Very Much

      Under the guidance of Corel CEO Amish Mehta, WordPerfect
      has rebounded from past difficulties.

      By T.C. Doyle
      Courtesy of VARBusiness
      http://www.desktoppipeline.com/trends/trends_archive/159902366

      It has been 10 years since the then WordPerfect Corp. made
      the fateful decision not to have a version of its flagship
      word-processing package ready when Microsoft unveiled
      Windows 95. The good folks in Orem, Utah, resigned
      themselves to the idea that they could not have a
      graphically updated version ready in time, so they focused
      their energies on perfecting a version for DOS instead. Big
      mistake.

      As everyone knows, Microsoft won the office-suite
      productivity war, and WordPerfect, which was later bought
      by Corel, has never fully recovered.

      That's until lately. Under Corel, WordPerfect initially
      floundered. But in the past few years and under the
      guidance of Corel CEO Amish Mehta, WordPerfect has
      rebounded surprisingly well. Corel has strung together five
      consecutive quarters of profitability and begun growing
      revenue again. Mehta took over the company after it was
      acquired by San Francisco-based Vector Capital Group in
      August 2003. He chalks up his success to good management, a
      sound product plan and a heavy reliance on the channel. He
      also has a strategy that is unique in several ways and may
      just yet prove that there is life after the world's most
      successful software company pounds you into
      submission.

      As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Ottawa,
      Canada-based company, best known for the CorelDraw
      GraphicsSuite, the WordPerfect Office Suite and the Corel
      Painter Natural-Media package, believes its future will be
      secure if it focuses on the small-to midsize business market
      and users, positions itself as the smart alternative, doubles
      down on bets in digital-photography software and continues
      to make inroads into the VAR channel.

      The SMB market is a no-brainer for Corel, whose products
      boast many of the same features as products from Microsoft
      or Adobe, but cost anywhere between 30 percent to 60
      percent less. Stepping up as the alternative to Microsoft
      and Adobe is also a shrewd move for the company. Mehta
      believes VARs and customers alike have grown weary of
      Microsoft's security problems, licensing issues and lack of
      openness. As for digital photography, the market
      opportunity is virtually unlimited as businesses and
      customers alike embrace digital cameras.

      Regarding the channel, Mehta says his growth rates in the
      VAR channel are upward of 20 percent in the past year. He
      has authorized his lieutenants to double the amount of
      people they hire to help partners and commit more money to
      supporting and rewarding VAR allies.

      Now, Mehta believes the turnaround is complete and that
      Corel is poised to be a robust growth company once more. In
      fact, he notes, Corel could double or triple the amount of
      business it does in Office productivity software and not
      make a dent in Microsoft's market share.

      With all the company has going for it, it's somewhat
      ironic that Mehta attributes his recent success to what
      he's not doing as much as to what he is doing. For example,
      when he took over, Corel was trying to operate in as many
      as 13 different market segments with various products. Way
      too many, he concluded. He focused the company on core
      assets and winnowed his key product lines to three.
      But one key task remains to be explored: a new CEO. A
      financier at heart, Mehta is moving on soon. The move has
      been well-planned and well-known for some time. But it does
      raise some uncertainty about the company. After all that it
      has been through, Corel still has work to do.
    • John Kaufmann
      Thanks for sharing the article. I have to take issue, though, with what IMHO is a misleading take on the history of WP s demise: The issue was less technical
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 25, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        Thanks for sharing the article.

        I have to take issue, though, with what IMHO is a misleading take on
        the history of WP's demise: The issue was less technical - who had
        the first GUI Windows word processor than it was Microsoft's
        understanding of how to exploit their Windows position to push their
        applications software via computer sellers:
        'You want our Windows? OK, the terms are:
        (1) You pay a Windows license for every computer you sell,
        whether you ship it with Windows or OS/2 or DOS.
        (2) For Windows, you get out Word/Office bundle.'

        (1) killed OS/2. [OEM: Why pay for OS/2 when I'm already paying for Windows?]
        (2) killed WP. [User: Why pay for WP when I already have Word?]

        Microsoft has always won by understanding that good marketing - even
        if it means skirting the anti-trust laws - beats good products. WP
        was in a period when the product was less good than it could have
        been, for reasons having much to do with its earlier success. Word
        was, however, much more the beneficiary of great, if predatory,
        marketing strategy.

        BTW, when Mr Doyle mentions that "The SMB market is a no-brainer for
        Corel [WP]", I presume he means the market of office productivity
        applications that are served by Windows Server. Is that the way you
        read "SMB market"?
        --
        John
      • John Rethorst
        ... You re right, but I ve heard that MS exploited their position on the technical side too, as in a version of Windows wasn t ready to ship until it made WP
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 25, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, John Kaufmann <kaufmann@n...
          wrote:

          > I have to take issue, though, with what IMHO is a
          > misleading take on the history of WP's demise: The issue
          > was less technical - who had the first GUI Windows word
          > processor than it was Microsoft's understanding of how to
          > exploit their Windows position to push their applications
          > software

          You're right, but I've heard that MS exploited their
          position on the technical side too, as in a version of
          Windows wasn't ready to ship until it made WP and Lotus
          crash. Just what I've heard, but a fascinating possibility.

          > Microsoft has always won by understanding that good
          > marketing - even if it means skirting the anti-trust laws
          > - beats good products.

          They've always had the best advertising I've ever seen. WP
          had some of the worst.

          I think WP was especially good at listening to its customers,
          and the depth of implementation of most features was better
          than the competition. One mistake WP made was not starting
          Windows development early and earnestly enough; another
          was in advertising. Reminded me of AT&T after the breakup:
          quality products, which they didn't know how to sell.

          The first WP Mac ad I remember had three guys all wearing
          that party-gag disguise with the mustache and bushy
          eyebrows glued on to the glasses rims, and the text gave
          the reader an address to write to (this was pre-web) for
          information on why he or she should use WP. The next ad I
          remember had a woman sitting on the floor, typing at a Mac
          that was also on the floor. Her hair style, makeup and clothes
          suggested she had a boyfriend who carried his Marlboros
          rolled up in the sleeve of his T-shirt and wore a baseball cap
          with a Budweiser logo. Nice people to be sure, but not the
          best examples for advertising a serious writing tool. In any
          case, the woman would not have been able to write for very
          long, there on the floor, without getting a sore back. And we
          must all remember the "used to play a tuba" ads, until WP
          stopped running them after complaints from players of that
          instrument.

          By contrast, MS advertising is superb. A memorable ad for
          Word showed three people on the steps of a public building.
          Their names mentioned in the text, and certain features of
          clothes and architecture, suggested northern Europe. The
          two older people clearly thought for a living, and were
          good at it. Their faces reflected depth and care. The
          younger person with them has not lived as they have, but
          his face showed intelligence, interest and seriousness of
          purpose. They of course used Word and the ad, rather than
          giving the reader an address to write to in order to learn
          why, articulately and persuasively explained why.

          WP may have been like AT&T in more ways than advertising.
          They got into the market early, made good products and
          became a household word. Then the market changed faster
          than the company realized.
        • Steve Kane
          ... It ain t done till Lotus won t run. was how I heard it. Apocryphal?
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 25, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            On Apr 25, 2005, at 8:01 PM, John Rethorst wrote:

            > You're right, but I've heard that MS exploited their
            > position on the technical side too, as in a version of
            > Windows wasn't ready to ship until it made WP and Lotus
            > crash. Just what I've heard, but a fascinating possibility.

            "It ain't done till Lotus won't run." was how I heard it. Apocryphal?
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.