Hogan Systems Inc. has adapted its line of mainframe-based management information software to the Unix platform.
The move is consistent with a trend toward moving decision support systems away from mainframe environments.
Dallas-based Hogan is working with two other vendors that support Unix: Hewlett-Packard Co., which is providing the hardware platform for the software suite, and Oracle Corp., which is supplying data base management.
"We've taken a proven product and allowed customers to choose another platform," said Hogan vice president Steve Reiter, adding that the company is pleased to have "the premier hardware and data base management vendors" supporting its efforts.
Mr. Reiter also said that the support of Unix and scalability of the software will enable the company to target customers that Hogan generally does not serve, such as small banks and financial institutions in developing countries.
Hogan's support of Unix is in line with the banking industry's objective to move data warehousing applications off mainframe hosts to free up valuable processing resources.
"The clear trend is for decision support to operate in a processing environment that doesn't affect mainframe transaction processing," said William Bradway, a technology analyst with Tower Group in Wellesley, Mass.
"The most cost-effective way is to put decision support and data warehousing on a Unix server."
Mr. Reiter said that Hogan's existing customers, including PNC Bank Corp., Fleet Financial Group, Norwest Corp., and Barnett Banks Inc., all are interested in moving to Unix. One customer is acting as a beta partner to test the new software line, he said.
A number of other vendors are marketing decision support systems for Unix. These include Hogan's main competitors, Alltel Information Services Inc. and M&I Data Services Inc., which are focusing mainly on customers of their core processing software.
Other contenders include Fiserv Inc. and a number of smaller companies, such as Treasury Services Inc.
These companies are serving a growing technology area, particularly the large bank market, where decision support applications have become widespread.
Tower Group estimates that, in 1995, about 90 of the top 100 U.S. banks ran at least one decision support application, and more of these applications are being added.
Last year, the 500 largest U.S. banks spent an estimated $1.1 billion on decision support, and Tower estimates that sum to be growing by 25% a year.
The three most popular decision support applications are profitability analysis, risk management, and segmentation or data mining, said Mr. Bradway.
Such applications are filtering down to banks with as little as $500 million in assets, he said, although these smaller institutions are more likely to be running less sophisticated systems at the PC level than those offered by Hogan.
Since Hogan's software is scalable to smaller institutions, Mr. Reiter said, the company will be targeting them as well as banks in developing countries - also an untapped market for mainframes and Hogan software.
Hogan's management information software, released over the last five years, consists of applications for earnings analysis, budgeting and planning, credit risk, and relationship information, the latest addition to the suite.
More applications are expected to be added, and the company will continue to support the mainframe operating environment, said Mr. Reiter.