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Radnet goes for the whole group

The Groupware software company is refocusing its traditional workgroup and departmental market strategy to concentrate on enterprise-level products.

Groupware software company Radnet is refocusing its traditional workgroup and departmental market strategy to concentrate on enterprise-level products.

Though two weeks ago Radnet pared its staff by 30, bringing its payroll down to about 50 employees, the company actually plans to expand its staff. It's seeking to hire and reassign as many as 50 employees to support the new strategy.

Now the company is readying the first products in that strategy.

It today rolled out the latest version of its collaborative Web application--WebShare 2.5, which addresses a number of enterprise market needs, according to the company.

WebShare 2.5, an upgrade to the company's WebShare for Windows NT product, features memory management and, through better database access, increased scalability, the company said. Beta testing of the UNIX/Solaris version of WebShare also began today, according to Radnet.

For the past two years Radnet has been battling in the Web groupware market with its Cambridge, Massachusetts neighbor Lotus Development, Microsoft, and Novell.

For example, WebShare goes head to head with Lotus Domino--the Web-ready successor to Notes--offering a similar array of Web conferencing, publishing, database, and workflow tools.

However, two weeks ago Radnet announced that it was going to redirect its market strategy. Then it launched a new strategic business focus and a corporate restructuring designed to meet what it sees as a market demand for large-scale, enterprise-wide collaborative Web systems.

Radnet has hired David Scult, former chief technology officer of Lotus Consulting, to lead the new market strategy. Scult, Radnet's senior vice president of sales and service, said today's product release represents the company's new market target.

"In this release, we explicitly focused on those enhancements that would make our product support more than the usual 10 users. Now it supports thousands. We could not have introduced new technology features without increasing scalability," he said.

Radnet director of product marketing Kenneth Volpe said the two key enhancements of WebShare 2.5 are incremental caching and data filtering.

Incremental caching for categorized views helps users store just that category's data in its internal memory as opposed to having all information from all categories stored in internal memory. WebShare 2.5 also allows developers to exploit inherent features of relational databases and SQL for data filtering. This gives developers control of how WebShare views are filtered by writing customized SQL statements allowing more database-specific views.

Groupware has become a rapidly growing segment of the software market as more companies set up private intranets. Radnet and other Web software developers have scrapped local and wide area networks in favor of a Web-based approach that requires less investment and less computing infrastructure.

Scult said Radnet users asked the company if it could provide a platform around which they could build an enterprise.

WebShare 2.5 for Windows NT is priced between $2,995 and $4,195. The WebShare UNIX/Solaris standard edition will start at $4,495, the company said.