Think Puts a Software Firm Back on Roster

Software AG, maker of database-management and data-warehousing products, has tapped Think New Ideas as its lead agency.
The Walnut Creek, Calif.-based company–the U.S. division of the German software firm of the same name–hired Think without a review. In the fall of 1998, the account was moved in-house after being handled by Mullen, Wenham, Mass.
“They had approached us about a year and a half ago, but at the time we were working with [software competitor] Oracle, which would have posed a conflict,” said Larry Kopald, president and chief creative officer of Think’s Los Angeles office.
Oracle Corp. has since moved its business to Grey Advertising, New York, leaving Think open in the software category.
Client officials could not be reached at press time. Billings are undisclosed, although the client spent about $15 million on advertising in Europe in 1999, and is expected to spend double that amount in the U.S. this year, according to insiders.
“It’s a [nearly] 30-year-old business which has been a top software marketer in Europe,” said Kopald. “We want to establish a brand for them in the U.S.”
In addition to Oracle, Software AG competes with firms such as IBM and EDS. Its latest development push is in application servers and other programs for the Web, including Tamino XML, an information server for e-business it introduced last November.
In the second half of 1999, the company acquired SPL WorldGroup’s Enterprise Support Division, an international provider of information technology consulting and enterprise solutions. The acquisition established the Software AG subsidiary in the U.S., replacing an earlier incarnation.
The company plans to expand its presence in six high-tech regions across the country and is taking steps to ramp up direct sales and sign up distribution partners.