Peregrine Eyes Sale of B2B Unit

Developer to return to its infrastructure roots with two packages that reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of maintaining real estate and the logistics infrastructure.

Peregrine Systems Inc. is quietly shopping around its BRM unit, including much of its supply chain offerings, and getting back to its roots: infrastructure management software development.

At its Synergy user conference this week in San Diego, Peregrine will announce two infrastructure management products that officials said will enable customers to reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of maintaining some of their real estate and the logistics infrastructure.

The Property Asset Management suite allows companies to monitor property assets, from buildings to cables and networks. The suite has an embedded, graphical workflow engine that interfaces with design, geographic information and enterprise planning systems. Four applications track real estate and existing buildings, facilities assets, operations and maintenance, and in-building connectivity.

The San Diego company will also roll out Version 5.0 of its Transportation suite with enhanced fleet management and leasing management suites. The leasing management application includes reporting tools that are integrated with electronic parts catalogs.

Other new modules in Transportation 5.0 help maintain information on roads or rail lines.

At the same time, Peregrine has hired investment bankers to investigate selling its BRM (Business Relationship Management) unit, including the service, which connects 44,000 buyers, suppliers and e-marketplaces. The unit also provides business-to-business e-commerce technology for content management, supplier enablement, analytics and integration.

Much of the technology in BRM came from Peregrines acquisitions in the past two years of Harbinger Corp. and Extricity Inc. Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas, a unit of Sharp Electronics Corp., has its entire B2B infrastructure based on Harbingers and Extricitys technologies through a license with Peregrine. Although it would be a big problem, Don LaVallee, director of strategic business operations and IT at Sharp, said he would switch to another vendors software if Peregrine sells Extricity. Even if Peregrine keeps Extricity, LaVallee said he would still wonder how well it was being supported.

"What really concerns me is support—what kind will I get and whats happening with the product. Is it getting upgrades and money poured into it, in terms of its functionality?" said LaVallee, in Camas, Wash.