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Borland to Bear Down on IT Governance

UPDATED: Borland is set to announce its formal entrance into the IT management and governance space, just months after acquiring Legadero for that purpose, internetnews.com has learned.

The software development company has set late January for the launch of its solution, according to details in an e-mail by Borland's public relations, which was obtained by internetnews.com.

Legadero, which Borland plucked from a market that includes Pacific Edge, Primavera Systems and ITM Software, makes a product called Tempo that helps IT companies assess whether or not they are using the right software to meet the requirements of their businesses.

Tempo, which includes a set of flexible dashboards to unify asset views, helps manage the software-development process by assigning the right resources for the job and enforcing policies.

Borland expects the software will help customers improve analysis of IT portfolios, prioritization of application development projects, and control portfolio costs and risks.

A spokesperson for Borland's public relations told internetnews.com the launch will not include an update to Tempo, but refused to provide more details as to the nature of the news. Borland will eventually rebrand it Borland Tempo to reflect the integration.

The governance move is part of the company's transition: Long known for its JBuilder integrated development environment (IDE) , the company is transforming its software application business into an application lifecycle management (ALM) suite for tightening software quality.

"The new offering will help organizations align IT with strategic business goals, optimally allocate resources, gain visibility and control over IT teams, and improve regulatory compliance," Borland said.

Borland went on to say that the solution, the first of many to be rolled out by Borland in 2006, features a combination of "people, process, and technology" to help conquer problems that hamper successful software delivery.

Analysts familiar with Borland said the company needed to make this move to keep up with the likes of IBM, Compuware, and others in the software-development game.

"They did this because they're under significant competitive pressure," said Forrester Research analyst Carey Schwaber. "It's a direction where pretty much all of their competitors have gone."

For example, CA recently acquired Niku in 2005, IBM purchased Systemcorp, and Compuware bought Changepoint.

Schwaber noted that the Legadero buy was a practical one at a time when managing software assets is crucial for enterprises.

All of Borland's point products for different stages of the software development lifecycle produce data about how things are going. The data lives in different repositories and doesn't get reported in a unified space. That's what Legadero's Tempo product can do for Borland.

"To put some kind of capstone to manage the portfolio on top of it, that can be pretty powerful," Schwaber said. "They're not the first to underestimate that opportunity, but they're doing a pretty good job of holding it together."

Schwaber said Borland should face challenges because, with Tempo, it's moving away from individual productivity tools to more team-based solutions.

Gartner analyst Matt Light, who prefers to refer to the market as IT project and portfolio management (PPM), said in a research note that Borland customers evaluating such tools should consider Tempo when it launches.

"Prior to the acquisition, the lack of a PPM solution represented a significant gap in Borland's line of applications to support IT and application development management," Light said. "The Tempo product is a key integration point for drawing Borland products together into an IT management application."

Light expects a quick ramp-up of Tempo sales and marketing this year.

The analyst, who said Borland had to make a play in the PPM space or begin offering automated software quality solutions, expects one to two more acquisitions in the PPM space in 2006.

"PPM remains a dynamic and volatile market, with new vendors taking innovative approaches to PPM and multiple recent acquisitions," Light said.

In the meantime, the transition of Borland from a traditional integrated development environment marches on.

The Scotts, Valley, Calif., company, installed software industry vet Tod Nielsen as permanent CEO after Dale Fuller resigned in July after weak second-quarter sales.

Nielsen cut his teeth at Oracle, BEA Systems and Microsoft before joining Borland.