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If incremental improvements are to be applauded in today's software market, then consider BroadVision Inc.'s latest quarter a success. The maker of corporate portal apps didn't exactly break out of its slump, but it posted its first increase in license revenue in several quarters, continued to bring down costs, and slowed its losses enough to preserve hope that it can break even on a pro forma basis by the end of this year.
BroadVision execs were clearly pleased with the respectable showing in a quarter characterized by worsening economic conditions and the company's attempts to redefine itself. In May, BroadVision launched BroadVision 7, a major revision of its application suite designed to help the vendor narrow its focus from providing self-service E-business apps. Execs credited the new apps with helping to reverse the downward trend in license revenue. BroadVision also slashed operating expenses to $33.8 million, from $76.7 million a year ago, fueled in part by a staff-reduction plan that will leave the company with about 550 employees by the end of the quarter, down from 670 as of June 30.
CEO Pehong Chen said during a conference call that the company already is seeing the benefits of its new portal-oriented strategy. Customers who've invested heavily in what Chen called the "enterprise footprint"--back-end CRM and ERP systems, for example--now are "looking for incremental investments that can unlock" the data residing in that infrastructure.
For the quarter ended June 30, BroadVision posted a loss of $56.7 million on revenue of $29.4 million, compared with a loss of $242.8 million on revenue of $58.0 million a year earlier. Excluding restructuring charges and other one-time expenses, the company's loss was $13.6 million, down from $49.9 million last year. Licensing revenue was $10.3 million, up 26% from the previous quarter but still well below the $21.0 million posted a year earlier.