ATEGO REDUX: ATEGO COMES OF AGE

Ignoring important business information in order to
save money is like saving up sex for your old age. What we learn from history
is that people don’t learn from history – Warren Buffet

 

Despite a plethora of negative publicity and bad relationships with the industry’s press, analysts and other vendors, Atego, due to the efforts of Dr Jay Gambrell its founding chairman,
has reorganized its management problems and proven that it is financially sound and technologically competitive. During these difficult times, the company has kept pace with the quality of its MDD (model driven development) products and has remained a leader in the Ada market space.

Let me state as a matter of full disclosure that I have in the past been a not-to-polite critic of Atego and its management. Hence it is only fair that I report on the positive changes that have occurred and address the topic that I previously found to be of concern.

A company is judged by factors not necessarily related to product offerings and quality. It is incumbent that a company maintains positive relations with the press and industry analysts. With all the changes at the company, it might be construed that the company is failing and it’s best to avoid dealing with it. It takes a strong executive, once having been made aware, to ensure that changes are made.

To summarize:

1) MDD developments have been shown to reduce development cost (as compared with similar
developments that didn’t use MDD) by more than 30%

2) Artisan Studio users enjoyed similar results that are comparable to IBM’s Rhapsody product

3) Atego has made management changes and placed an emphasis on positive relationships within the
industry.

4) Atego has reorganized their marketing efforts freeing up their staff to better interact
with customers as well as with vendors and the press.

5) Atego bought IBM Rational’s Ada product line to consolidate their marketing and sales efforts in this market
segment. Atego inherited Rational’s Ada customers, many of whom remain IBM customers for other products.

Let me address the rumors that Atego is financially vulnerable. Let’s face it – I’m capable of reading abalance sheet, but not sufficiently sophisticated to be able to detect financial slight of hand. While Atego now boasts a much larger balance sheet and revenue and profit line, I still believe when  it comes to ascertaining Atego’s financial well being I rely on IBM Rational, one of the best managed companies in the world.

For IBM to entrust Atego with their customer base that not only used their Ada products but many of the other IBM products as well, they certainly did a detailed and exhaustive analysis of Atego and their long term viability. For me, that is the most compelling reason to dispel any rumors of financial instability. And they did this in spite of the fact that Atego’s biggest competitor for modeling is IBM!

Let me point out that financial strength and operating profitability are different. Atego remains profitable, but their activities and expenditures are closely watched, as they should be in a responsibly managed company. Atego claims to be the largest independent embedded tools provider – a reputation they will have to earn again and again every day.

I find Gambrell, who has an extensive banking background, to be a most responsible executive – which also gives me confidence in Atego’s future.

As a former Executive VP of a public medical devices company, I have personally encountered problems with recalcitrant managers that tried to build personal empires at the expense of the company that paid their salaries. I was fortunate to have had feedback from our marketplace from individuals who were so incensed at their treatment that they took the effort to complain (loudly and without limiting their use of language for emphasis) to me personally. Some might consider these folks to have a pathological need to bitch – for me they were a godsend that enabled me to correct problems that could have adversely impacted our emerging company.

So it is in my business DNA to offer unsolicited (and perhaps unwanted) information. It is to Gambrell’s credit that he didn’t dismiss the bad news as being from a pain in the butt.

I did tell Jay that I’ll have to find a new target for my somewhat slanted sense of humor – but that I’m delighted for his success. Now I can focus my efforts on delving into the more recent and promised product offerings coming from Atego. There are several promising process related tools coming, so let’s see what a renewed focus from Atego will deliver. This will not keep me from being a critic if I see fit – but I’m excited for the industry that an alternative modeling compny has come of age

For those that might remember my comment that “the wheel is spinning but the gerbil is dead”, I’m glad toreport that the gerbil is doing fine.

 

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