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McData's Psyched About Software

McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA) has software acquisitions firmly in its sights as it aims to pull in 25 percent to 30 percent of its revenue from software by 2006, company executives announced at its annual analyst day in Broomfield, Colo.

Addressing about 50 financial analysts, Gary Gysin, newly appointed VP and general manager of McData's software unit, said storage resource management (SRM), virtualization, and data protection software would be key pieces of the company's software strategy going forward (see McData Stirs Up Software and McData Appoints Software GM).

"Am I going to take 200 engineers and build this internally? Not likely," he said. "You've seen the war chest we have raised."

Last month, McData announced the completion of an offering of $172.5 million in convertible subordinated notes, the net proceeds of which it plans to use for general corporate purposes -- including potential acquisitions or investments in complementary technologies (see McData Raises $172.5M From Notes).

At the same time, plenty of the new technology will be developed internally, as well, according to Jean Becker, senior VP of engineering at McData. She says the company is working on a "virtualization blade" for its Intrepid director products. Becker was stingy on details but said, "Customers will be able to pay for functionality as they want it... and we will release a software developer kit so that anyone can port their software to the virtualization blade." McData will demonstrate the blade this year and make it available sometime in 2004.

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