Corel Taps New Sales Chief

Morley was CEO of Imprivata, a security software maker in Lexington, Mass. Before that he was vice president of North America at Macromedia, joining that company when it bought Allaire.

Corel CEO David Dobson had been acting as top sales executive for the Ottawa-based company.

“We&'re delighted to land someone of Patrick&'s capabilities and experience in both packaged and enterprise software,” Dobson told CRN.

Corel competes against the twin goliaths of Microsoft in office productivity and Adobe in graphics software. Dobson said that underdog status is part of what brought him to Corel three months ago.

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“The opportunity that attracted both of us to Corel is that there are dominant players, but Corel offers credible alternatives to both,” Dobson said. “We&'re seeing more demand now for alternatives. As the price of a PC goes from $2,000 to $500, people aren&'t willing to spend $400 on productivity software,” he said.

Dobson and Morley also said the noise that Sun Microsystems and the open-source community have drummed up around StarOffice and OpenOffice, have helped raise awareness of other choices available to consumers.

Corel Office, which comprises WordPerfect, Quattro Pro and Paradox, boasts high interoperability with Microsoft Office file formats, and in some cases claiming better interoperability with older versions of Microsoft applications than Microsoft itself offers.

The company retains a respectable presence in law firms and government agencies, where WordPerfect once led the field. It is also concentrating on small-business customers and the VARs servicing them.

John Miller, president of Lansultants, a Philadelphia-based VAR that focuses on the legal market, said WordPerfect still has a significant share there. “It&'s a superior product for law firms and is definitely competitive.”

Scott Knight, government sales manager at SaltSpring, a London, Ontario-based reseller, said WordPerfect continues to hold a soft spot in many hearts. “Many people went to Microsoft Office because it became the standard, but now with Corel [WordPerfect] Office 12 being 99 percent seamless with Microsoft Word, there&'s more motivation to move back,” he said.

Customers can get the full Corel suite for about $125, compared with more than twice that for a Microsoft Office upgrade.