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10/22/2008
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Startup Of The Week: OpenSpan

Its software knits together disparate desktop applications, making users more productive and efficient.

If your users have to switch among multiple applications to complete common business tasks, such as handling customer orders or processing stock trades, OpenSpan may be able to help. The company's software knits together disparate desktop applications, making users more productive and efficient. --Andrew Conry-Murray

OPENSPAN


Francis Carden, co-founder and chief evangelist, Openspan

Carden aims to stop "swivel chair" integration

HEADQUARTERS: Alpharetta, Ga.

PRODUCT: OpenSpan Platform

PRINCIPALS: Eric Musser, CEO; Francis Carden, co-founder and chief evangelist; Stephen Beckett, co-founder and CTO

INVESTORS: Matrix Partners, Sigma Partners, Globespan Capital Partners, FT Ventures

EARLY CUSTOMERS: First Citizens Bank, J.C. Penney, Alltel Wireless


AN ALTERNATIVE TO CUT AND PASTE
Companies tend to add new applications to employee workflow without getting rid of old ones. The result? Siloed applications and "swivel chair" application integration, says OpenSpan co-founder Carden. OpenSpan helps eliminate manual, time-consuming activities such as cutting and pasting data from one application to another.

HOW IT WORKS
Developers use OpenSpan to expose an application's key functions. OpenSpan transforms those functions into reusable components that can be integrated with other applications, and at runtime it injects code to access the appropriate components. Aimed at applications that run on Windows, the platform works with Web-, Java-, and even DOS-based applications. A typical integration project takes six to 10 weeks. Third-party updates may require reintegration with the OpenSpan software.

BRAIN TRUST
Carden previously was founder and CEO of Pixel Innovations, a software integration services company. Beckett founded Witness Systems, while Musser served as president and CEO of CDC Software.

GO WITH THE FLOW
OpenSpan's goal is to reduce the complexity of the desktop by linking applications based on the workflow of common business processes. For instance, information entered in the fields in a CRM application automatically will be updated in billing and provisioning apps. Companies also can add new business logic, such as restricting users from performing unwanted actions, to existing applications. OpenSpan also can expose legacy applications to service-oriented architectures and support virtualized applications.

TIMELINE
Timeline Chart

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