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By Julian Matthews


Sun Microsystems chief Java strategist joins MSC company

December 22, 1998, Kuala Lumpur -- Sun Microsystems Inc technical strategist and chief Java evangelist Miko Matsumura has joined a little-known Malaysian Multimedia Super Corridor company called Datek Sdn Bhd.

Matsumura said he was leaving the Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer giant for the small, pure-Java software developer because it is the most exciting and successful company among the hundreds he has seen.

"It is truly both a serious enterprise computing player and an Internet company, a rare combination. I have found the killer app I was looking for," he said.

Matsumura will assume the position of president of US operations and vice president of strategy for BizTone.com Inc, the tentative new global name for Datek.

Datek is pioneering delivery of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications over the Internet which completely eliminates the need for on-site installation or the purchase of expensive software.

The BizTone suite of applications, until recently known as Madura, will be given away free, but will adopt a transaction-based business model, where third-party service providers will sell BizTone services to corporate customers then pay Datek on a pay-per-use basis.

Matsumura will likely arrange partnerships with telecommunications companies and Internet service providers to host the BizTone services.

His recognition in industry circles will considerably raise the profile and credibility of Datek's strategy of getting the BizTone suite, which provides end-to-end financial, materials, planning, human resources, and sales management functionality, into the network computers of corporations and government agencies worldwide.

Datek estimates the creation of this new market which casts telcos and ISPs as primary distributors of enterprise resource management (ERM) services 'live' over telephone lines is worth US$100 billion a year.

Formed in 1995 in Australia by CEO Darryl Carlton, Datek moved operations to Malaysia in September 1996 and was an early investor in the MSC. The company is slated for listing on the Nasdaq in December 1999.

Matsumura does not see joining an Asian-based company in a time when the region faces its worst financial crisis as a disadvantage.

"I believe in the innovativeness of the Asian people. I think software is the ideal technology to lead Asia out of the economic situation it is in now as it is an industry with low capital requirements and high margins," he said.

For the past three and half years, Matsumura travelled extensively to popularize Java and claims to have "evangelized" 100,000 people to adopt the programming language.

Matsumura said he felt confident leaving his duties as a Java evangelist when the programming language is gaining wider acceptance and becoming ubiquitous.

He cited the recent announcements by Sun of an open community source strategy, the launch of the Java 2 platform, the Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.'s commitment to use Java in its consumer products, the planned America Online, Inc. and Netscape Communications Corporation merger and the preliminary injunction against Microsoft Corp, all point to a strong future for Java.

"It is the perfect time to start building on the new platform. I can retire knowing that tens of millions of compatible clients are assured, and can rest with the knowledge that I contributed in some way to the Java revolution," he said.

Matsumura also defended Sun's motives in "protecting and shepherding Java through its infancy."

Developers previously balked at Sun for not allowing them free access to modify Java source code for commercial software development.

"I don't think a consensus-driven group could have prevented Microsoft from breaking its legal obligation to ship compatible Java in accordance with its license. Java needed the the protection of Sun to ensure compatibility," he said.

Links:
Miko Matsumura's website
BizTone website

(Published in AsiaBizTech, Dec 23,1998)

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