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British Company Launches XClone in Canada

Published
  • April 19 2004, 1:00am EDT

Bristol-based software company, Babboo, is launching the new version of its  revolutionary product, XClone - the world's first fully automated cloning solution for Oracle databases and applications.  XClone can dramatically reduce IT costs, reduces database administrators (DBAs) workload by up to 30 percent, removes errors, improves quality and produces better systems.  The software solution automatically creates clones (working copies of database environments) for a number of reasons including: testing, quality assurance, documentation, training, user acceptance and internal support. 

Similar to Mr. Hewlett and Mr. Packard in the 1970s, two of the executives at Babboo developed the software from their homes and worked for months with no financial gain.  They performed the first installation of XClone at the offices of  Lloyds TSB in Bristol in July 2002 - this was the first installation of a fully automated cloning solution anywhere in the world.  XClone can reduce the time it takes DBAs in organisations, such as commercial banks, to copy databases from 4 man days to less than 2 hours, which translates into a 30 percent cost saving.  A typical Oracle site with several DBAs can save hundreds of pounds each year using XClone.  The market potential is enormous, as Babboo estimates that corporations currently spend about $5.2 billion on cloning - each year.

As companies increasingly look for improved performance and efficiency from their IT departments, Babboo is finding regular worldwide interest in its product.  Nowadays we frequently hear of viruses attacking companies' PCs, but in April 2003 Babboo executives, Steven Marsh (CEO) and Gordon Thomson (CTO) traveled to Toronto to visit a potential client, a department of the Canadian government, IDRC.  On arrival they found that the airport was almost a no-go area due to the very real SARs virus epidemic.  Returning to the U.K., infection free, they secured the deal.

Not put off by this experience, in July of the same year they flew to New York to visit another potential client, New York City Transit, part of NTA. A third of all New Yorkers travel on NTA every day.  Whilst in America, New York experienced the biggest electrical blackout in history and the executives ended up having to eat rapidly melting ice cream as their evening meal, and being handed bottled water by the Red Cross.

Steven Marsh comments: 'Despite the setbacks, both visits proved worthwhile, as we signed a deal with Huber (the largest family run business in the U.S.) in New York and with New York City Transit.  Let's hope everything runs smoothly in Toronto next week.'

Babboo's U.K. clients already include global legal practice, Clifford Chance, international Publishers, Macmillan, AVX Tantalum based in Paignton and Edinburgh University.  Macmillan Business Analyst and Project Manager, Ian May-Miller, explained that "clones were taking as many as four days to execute, with users unable to access their systems during the cloning operation."  As a result of the automation provided by XClone, he added, "Database and application clones are now delivered more quickly, in as little as two to three hours."  This represents more than an eight-fold improvement.

From humble beginnings in a front room in a flat in Redland, Bristol, Babboo now has a global presence, after opening an office in San Francisco last year. Babboo opened the international sales and marketing office in Florida Street, near the Mission district, as the U.S. represents a third of the Oracle database market.  Babboo succeeded in recruiting Philip Page, the previous marketing director for North America for Informix (recently bought by IBM), as the chief marketing officer.

And in case you're wondering, Babboo is an Indian word used among families and friends to denote respect and affection.  And the friendly, hard-working monkey, called Babboo, embodies the company ethos of being technically excellent, while enjoying work.  Now that the company is enjoying success, after three years of sitting at a laptop developing XClone, Babboo, the monkey, has decided to get a life and is planning to travel to Portugal for Euro 2004 and possibly to Athens for the Olympics.  When he grows up and retires Babboo wants to go and live at Disney World in sunny Florida and learn to play golf.

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