A Silicon Valley legend has returned to his entrepreneurial roots, accepting the chairmanship at a start-up software firm that is developing a product to ease computer-to-computer data migration.

James G. Treybig, former president and chief executive of Tandem Computers Inc., plans to split his time between the new firm, Reliant Data Systems Inc. in Austin, Tex., and two unrelated companies of which he also has been named chairman.

The Stanford-educated executive founded Tandem in 1974, presided over its initial public offering in 1976, and built it into a $2 billion company whose systems put a premium on reliability and are well suited for on-line transaction processing.

His focus has shifted to software applications that automate the transfer of data between computer systems.

"I am really interested in the transformation of data off legacy systems," Mr. Treybig said. "Automation is the right approach."

Reliant Data Systems, founded last year by former Dun & Bradstreet executive Todd Coleman, is developing a software "engine" that speeds the conversion of data from one computer system to another.

The engine removes data from its source, translates it, and sends it to a new system without the need to write customized code. The product can also be used to "cleanse" data that might have become corrupted.

Russ Caccamisi, president and chief executive officer of Reliant, said the software could help banks undergoing post-merger conversions or technology upgrades.

Reliant currently is working with a large midwestern bank on part of its merger consolidation, he said.

"In banks, moving data to a new system has traditionally been handled by throwing a lot of bodies and money at the problem," said Mr. Caccamisi. "Our approach is to put the data into a logical intermediate environment."

Mr. Treybig, a country-music lover who left Cupertino, Calif.-based Tandem because he wanted to return to his native Texas, said eliminating people from the conversion process will ultimately be more efficient.

"You don't need people to migrate data," he said. "Writing code is crazy."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.