Don't tell Dataware Technologies you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
Until last year, the company, which was founded in 1988, developed enterprise software for search and retrieval and knowledge management.
Now, Dataware has become LeadingSide and has gone from software vendor to solution provider, says Stouffer Egan, vice president of corporate development at the Cambridge, Mass.-based company, which also changed its Nasdaq ticker symbol from DWTI to LDSD last Tuesday.
The surge in popularity of the e-business market was not the only reason for Dataware's transition, Egan says. The market for knowledge-management software was lackluster, and at one point Dataware downsized its company in response to lagging demand for software, he says.
Rather than change the focus of the software it developed, Dataware decided it would be best for the company and its investors to change its business model entirely.
"The skill sets and the assets of the company are better converted to address the opportunity of serving clients as a solution provider," Egan says. "It was the best way for us to create value for our shareholders."
LeadingSide is not a traditional e-business consulting company, per se, though it can build B2B exchanges or end-to-end e-business solutions if that's what a customer wants, Egan says. Rather, LeadingSide's focus is on "creating value from the unstructured information for our clients," he says.
"Ninety percent of a company's information exists in an unstructured format,[Microsoft] Word documents, e-mails, news feeds, journals," Egan says. "It contains intellectual capital,the answer to a question, the way a customer is feeling. . . . It's the most valuable information within companies."
LeadingSide works on a customer-by-customer basis to find out what unstructured information in the company is important and how to format that information for use by whoever needs to access it, Egan says.