Press Releases (SoftBank BB Corp.) 2005

SOFTBANK BB Commences Sales of “SoftGrid,” reducing the cost, Revolutionary Next-Generation Application Management Platform that Centralizes the Management of Multiple Applications
~Agreement concluded with Softricity (US) to become the distributor for the Japanese market~

February 14, 2005

SOFTBANK BB Corp. (Head office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan; President & CEO: Masayoshi Son; “SOFTBANK BB”) has concluded an agreement with Softricity, Inc. (Head office: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A; CEO: Harry Ruda; “Softricity”) to become its distributor in Japan, and will begin selling Softricity’s next-generation application management platform, SoftGrid Platform (“SoftGrid”), from February 14, 2005.

SoftGrid is software that delivers a wide variety of applications from the server to the clients on demand. By creating virtualized applications and keeping applications under the centralized management on the server, SoftGrid makes it possible to authenticate, maintain application versions, and monitor the usage of applications.

As more and more companies use many systems and companies themselves merge, the number and complexity of applications has continued to grow, forcing companies to set aside a large portion of their cost for the Application management life cycle of deploy, update, support, and terminate, and for managing the license compliance of applications. With SoftGrid, users can access applications on demand without installing them, like gas, water or electricity. Moreover, since it makes the central management of desktop applications possible, it dramatically reduces the cost of managing today’s dynamic and evolving enterprise. For this reason, this product has already been implemented by more than 200 major companies in the United States and Europe.

SOFTBANK BB, together with Softricity, will propose solutions directly to end users and conduct other activities to expand application management business market. At the same time, SOFTBANK BB, making use of its well-established IT distribution network-the largest network in Japan-will engage in full-scale SoftGrid distribution and sales operations as a distributor in Japan. Working with major software, hardware vendors, and systems integrators, SOFTBANK BB will aim to become the market leader in next-generation application management for Japanese companies, a market that is expected to be grown.

In addition, SOFTBANK BB is planning to provide an advanced software ASP-like service for enterprise users with SoftGrid as another alternative in the ever-evolving broadband content market. Moreover, SOFTBANK BB is going to implement SoftGrid for internal use from April, starting with about 800 users.

With the aim of establishing a firm position in Japan’s next-generation corporate application management solutions market, Softricity and SOFTBANK BB are also considering to establish a Japanese subsidiary. This would allow for the provision of even more benefits to users through activities such as marketing, customer support, and product optimization (localization for Japanese), and make it possible to begin building a brand in the Japanese market.

On this announcement, Softricity’s CEO Harry Ruda made the following statement: “We are honored to be working with SOFTBANK BB, the distributor of application management solutions in the Japanese market. They clearly recognize the business value of virtualizing beyond the data center to the application level, we are pleased to team with SOFTBANK BB in helping enterprises transform IT into a strategic, efficiently-run organization that is highly responsive to evolving business needs.”

The summary of the main features and distinctive characteristics of SoftGrid is below.

(1)Application can be centrally managed.

Through a network, users communicate at login with the SoftGrid Virtual Application Server to access applications they have a right to use. user authentications is managed centrally in the server, which can also issue usage reports if required.

(2)Applications can be executed without conflicts.

The application accessed by the client is executed within a protective virtual run-time environment called “SystemGuard.” which protects operating system registry, DLL (dynamic link library) or INI (initialization) from being altered by applications. They can be run side-by-side without any conflicts; moreover, they can be run just as if they were installed on the client computer.

(3)Applications can also be used offline. *1

Through the use of a mobile mode, users can access applications even when they are not connected to the network. Administrators can set the number of days users can access applications offline.

  • *1Applications must be 100% cached when the user connects to the server.

(4)Multiple applications can be distributed in a single package.

Applications accessed by clients are packaged via the SoftGrid Sequencer. Since multiple applications can be combined in a single package, for example, ODBC drivers can be combined into applications. Moreover, it is possible to package applications with the initialization settings required by the user.

(5)It can be used with the Microsoft Terminal Service/Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Server.

Because of its Microsoft Terminal Service/Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Server compatibility, administrators can spend less time on maintenance and application installation. It can even be run with applications that are not conflict-avoidance or multi user-mode compatible, thus raising the convenience of the Microsoft Terminal Service/Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Server.

Licenses offered and estimated prices

Product name: SoftGrid Platform
-SoftGrid Starter Packs*2 2,500,000yen
-SoftGrid Servers 1,950,000yen~
-SoftGrid Client Access Licenses for Windows Desktops 30,000yen(1CAL)
-SoftGrid Client Access Licenses for Terminal Servers 15,000yen(1CAL)
-SoftGrid Client Access Licenses for Dual Mode 36,000yen(1CAL)
-SoftGrid Sequencer 590,000yen

  • *2Starter Packs include a SoftGrid Server, Sequencer, and 20 SoftGrid Client Access Licenses for Dual Mode.

Date of sale commencement: February 14, 2005
Scheduled timing of shipment commencement: March 2005

Visual Representation of the SoftGrid Platform

What Other Companies Have Said About the Conclusion of the Distributor Agreement with Softricity Inc.

Hewlett-Packard Japan, Ltd.
Yasuyuki Higuchi, President & CEO

Japanese companies currently need to respond to ever-changing business situations flexibly, promptly and at low cost. With respect to clients' PCs used daily at work, it is essential that we reduce management costs, improve productivity and manage information in a high-security environment.
SoftGrid, the next generation application platform that SOFTBANK BB will begin marketing in Japan, allows us to promptly respond to business changes and reduce costs. We expect a large synergy effect with Adaptive Enterprise Strategy, which our company advocates.
I am particularly convinced that by combining SoftGrid and Blade PC, HP Japan's strategic product, we will be able to provide the optimal solutions to help customers become more competitive.

Microsoft Co., Ltd.
Yasufumi Hirai, Operating Officer & Managing Director, In charge of Enterprise Businesses

Microsoft welcomes the announcement of SOFTBANK BB.
Softricity Solutions that provide a high quality centralized application management will definitely prove to be very effective solutions for customers who have problems standardizing client environments and software distributions, and who emphasize compliance. I hope that it will also help customers who have introduced the Microsoft Office(R) System to make their work more efficient and reduce their management costs.

IBM Japan, Ltd.
Shiro Fujimoto, Manager, System Product Business, xSeries & IntelliStation Division

IBM is an advocate of on-demand business, and as it becomes more commonplace, businesses have become more diverse and their speed has increased, requiring more reliable risk management. SoftGrid, announced today, will become an even more effective solution if it is combined with IBM's IA Server, the IBM eServerxSeries. I hope we can respond to the requests of customers who wish to increase the capacity of systems and improve their confidence.

Association of Copyright for Computer Software (ACCS)
Yutaka Kubota, Executive Director

It has been 20 years since it was first clearly stated that computer software should be protected by copyright. During this time, the Association of Copyright for Computer Software (ACCS) has dealt with about 270 criminal cases regarding infringements on copyrights and as much as 5 billion yen was paid to settle civil complaints against illegal copies in the organization. In many ways, intellectual property rights including copyrights have become a center of attention. ACCS has been calling for software management and has made a number of suggestions. I heard that although software management is critical for corporate compliance, many people do not know where to start when they actually try to take action. Also, it would be very difficult to achieve complete management without using electronic technology. The technology SOFTBANK BB announced this time offers a one solution to software management. ACCS welcomes the fact that more companies will use this new technology and easily and will be sure to carry out software management.

  • *Company names and product names that are stated are brands or trademarks of each company.

Company Profile


Head office 24-1 Nihonbashi Hakozaki-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Established May 16, 2000 (Date of Merger: January 7, 2003)
Representative Masayoshi Son, President and CEO
Business activities The Company engages in the provision of broadband infrastructure and services centering on Yahoo! BB as well as in technical development, marketing, sales and support. The Company offers IT-related distribution and services and supervises and administers affiliated broadband and e-commerce companies.

Softricity, Inc.

Head office Boston, Massachusetts, USA
27 Melcher Street 3rd Floor Boston, MA, U.S.A.
Established June, 1999
Representative Harry Ruda, President and CEO
Business activities Softricity is a software IT infrastructure company that develops and sells SoftGrid, which distributes applications using networks. The company has business bases in Boston, United States, as well as in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, with more than 200 large corporations as clients mainly in the United States and Europe.

Customer Contact

SOFTBANK BB Corp., Distribution & Sales Department, BB Solutions Promotion Division

  • The information is true and accurate at the time of publication.
    Price, specification, contact and other information of products and service may be subjected to change. The information contains certain forward-looking statements that are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements.