GrapeCity

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GrapeCity, inc.
Private
Industry Software services
Founded 1980
Headquarters Sendai, Japan
Key people
Paul Broman
(Honorary Chairman, Founder)
Daniel Fanger
(Chairman)
Naoyuki Baba
(President)
Joshua Broman
(CCO)
Products Developer Tools
School Management System
Education Curriculums
Services Information technology consulting
Digital Media Production Services
Website GrapeCity.com

GrapeCity, inc. is a privately held, multinational software corporation based in Sendai, Japan, that develops its own software products and provides outsourced product development services, consulting services, software, and Customer relationship management services. GrapeCity also established WINEstudios, a media design and digital production facility in Japan.

GrapeCity's major office locations are in the USA, Japan, India, China, and Vietnam.

Corporate history[edit]

Foundation[edit]

The forerunner of GrapeCity, Bunka Orient Corporation (see Name Change section below), was founded in Miyagi prefecture, Japan. In 1980, when personal computers began coming to market, founder Paul Broman saw in them an opportunity to streamline the operations of the two schools he had also founded. When he looked for software to use, he found that there was none suitable for the Japanese market, and decided to fill the unmet need himself.[1]

Paul Broman worked with Daniel Fanger, now Chairman of GrapeCity and Principal of MeySen Academy,[2] and Nobuo Iwasa to turn Bunka Orient Corporation into a software development company.

Original products[edit]

LeySer School Management Software[edit]

The company's first software product was LeySer Services for school management, which Paul Broman used to help run the MeySen Academy and KeiMei Elementary School, which he founded in the 1970s. Having sent some of his teachers to learn programming, he then directed them in creating software to support the accounting and reporting needs of his schools. Later, they sold the software to other schools through what was still known as Bunka Orient Corporation.

Localization of Developer Tools[edit]

The company expanded into a range of other software products and services, beginning by localizing developer tools for the Japanese market, another empty niche they discovered when developing LeySer Services. Beginning in 1993, they grouped these localized tools together and resold them as their Power Tools line.[3]

Localized tools included:

  • PowerTCP Tools (1999)[4]
  • JClass (2002)[5] and JProbe (2007)[6] Java(TM) Components
  • LEADTOOLS Imaging Toolkits[7]
  • FarPoint Spread (1999)[8]

Time line[edit]

1980 (Japan) Bunka Orient Company Ltd. founded in Sendai.

1988 (China) Xi'an Orient Software established.

1990 (Japan) Kantou business office established in Saitama Prefecture.

1993 (China) Shanghai Orient established.

1996 (India) Bunka Orient India established in New Delhi.

1999 (Japan) Kansai business office established in Osaka Prefecture.

2000 (USA) Bunka Orient USA established in Seattle.

2000 (Mongolia) Bunka Orient Mongolia established in Ulaanbaatar.

2001 (Japan) GrapeCity, inc. formed in Sendai.

2002 (global) Bunka Orient renamed GrapeCity.

2003 (Japan) GrapeCity headquarters built in Sendai.

2004 (Japan) GrapeCity Nagoya business office established in Aichi Prefecture.

2004 (Vietnam) GrapeCity Vietnam established in Hanoi.

2005 (India) GrapeCity India Noida Complex opens near New Delhi.[9]

2005 (Japan) GrapeCity WINEstudios Harajuku established in Tokyo.

2006 (Malaysia) GrapeCity inc. office opened in Selangor.

2006 (Australia) GrapeCity Australia established in Sydney.

2006 (Japan) GrapeCity WINEstudios established in Sendai.

2008 (USA) Acquired Data Dynamics, Ltd., in Columbus, Ohio.[10]

2009 (USA) Acquired FarPoint Technologies in Morrisville, North Carolina.[11]

2009 (England) Data Dynamics opens West Sussex office.[12]

Name change[edit]

Originally named Bunka Orient Corporation when it was founded in 1980, the company found that its name was often confused with other entities with the same acronym when it expanded into China and India. The company was renamed GrapeCity in 2002.[13] The name change announcement showed the sun setting on Bunka Orient India and rising on GrapeCity India.

In 2005, when GrapeCity established a media design and digital production facility, they continued in the spirit of the new name with WINEstudios.[14]

Acquisitions[edit]

One of the developer tools that GrapeCity localized for Japanese programmers was ActiveReports from Data Dynamics. In addition to localizing the user interface and documentation, GrapeCity performed quality testing for Japanese usage of the product and requested new features. After a long association with the company, in October, 2008, GrapeCity announced their acquisition of Data Dynamics, in Columbus, Ohio.[15]

Another of the developer tools that GrapeCity localized was Spread from FarPoint Technologies. In a similar move, after long association with the company, they announced their acquisition of FarPoint Technologies in Morrisville, North Carolina, September, 2009.[16]

In 2012, GrapeCity also completed the acquisition of Component One.

Divisions[edit]

LeySer School Management System[edit]

The LeySer school management system division of GrapeCity is responsible for all software and services around managing private educational institutions in Japan. Key modules of the system include accounting, payroll, tuition management and asset management. The software started out in 1980 as a set of accounting tools and over the years has evolved from the earliest MS-DOS version to Microsoft Windows, and today it is a set of software services and solutions based on the .NET Framework platform.

PowerTools[edit]

The PowerTools division is one of the primary business units of the company bringing in roughly 30% of the company revenues. In addition to developing and marketing its own products, in Japan GrapeCity’s Developer Tools division localizes, sells, and supports products made by other software vendors.

In the US and the rest of the world market, since acquiring Data Dynamics and FarPoint, GrapeCity has consolidated its line of developer tools around FarPoint Spread, ActiveReports, and Data Dynamics Analysis. These products provide spreadsheet, reporting, and analysis functionality to software developers using the Microsoft platform and developer tools.

GrapeCity Global Services[edit]

The GrapeCity Global Services (GGS) division provides custom software development, outsourced product development, and software implementation consulting services to mid-sized through enterprise-level customers.

Services include ERP (enterprise resource planning), Microsoft SharePoint, Business Intelligence, eCommerce, trading systems, information portals, inventory systems, supply chain systems, banking systems, (customer relationship management), financial and accounting packages, and workflow management. The GGS division also provides software services and add-on products for CDC Pivotal CRM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.[17]

The GGS division consists of two geographical business units, one in the USA and the other in China.

WINEstudios Digital Media Production and Design[edit]

The WINEstudios production and design company established by GrapeCity creates features, programs, commercials, music videos, and special presentations. They design computer graphics using CGI applications including Softimage XSI, Autodesk Maya, After Effects, Combustion, and Boujou. WINEstudios also designs corporate logos, brochures, and marketing tools.

The facility has a sound stage, a motion capture studio, a chromakey studio, an editing suite, and an audio suite.[18]

GrapeSEED[edit]

The GrapeSEED division has its roots in the Miyagi MeySen Academy [19] , a private preschool education organization in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. MeySen is a preschool English education system with a record of over 40 years. Based on the real world classroom experience and international research, GrapeSEED is an English language teaching solution for children and includes a levels based curriculum, multimedia materials, teaching manuals and training processes.

ActiveReports Server[edit]

GrapeCity announced the launch of ActiveReports Server on September 13, 2011. [20] ActiveReports Server is a Web-based self-service reporting solution for business users, enabling them to design and deliver ad hoc reports from within their Web browsers. ActiveReports Server also includes a secure, scalable storage with report scheduling and distribution capabilities and a Web-based management inteface for IT administrators. Software developers can use the ActiveReports Server SDK to embed the ad hoc report designer and other features into their own applications.

Global Offices[edit]

Japan[edit]

Sendai, Osaka, Nagoya, Tokyo (Harajuku), and Saitama

China[edit]

Xi'an and Shanghai

India[edit]

New Delhi, Noida

USA[edit]

Seattle, WA, Morrisville, NC, and Pittsburgh, PA

Mongolia[edit]

Ulaanbaatar

Vietnam[edit]

Hanoi

Malaysia[edit]

Selangor

Australia[edit]

Sydney

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paul Broman, Founder of GrapeCity
  2. ^ Daniel Fanger, Principal of MeySen Academy
  3. ^ Release of Japanese version of LEADTOOLS 14 as part of its PowerTools line1
  4. ^ PowerTCP Tools
  5. ^ JClass
  6. ^ JProbe
  7. ^ LEADTOOLS Imaging Toolkits
  8. ^ FarPoint Spread
  9. ^ GrapeCity India opens Noida Complex
  10. ^ GrapeCity Acquires Data Dynamics
  11. ^ GrapeCity Acquires FarPoint Technologies
  12. ^ GrapeCity-Data Dynamics Expands into Europe
  13. ^ Bunka Orient India Changes Name to GrapeCity India
  14. ^ Visual Studio Magazine profile of GrapeCity
  15. ^ "GrapeCity Acquires Data Dynamics". 
  16. ^ "GrapeCity Acquires FarPoint Technologies". 
  17. ^ Yahoo Widgets by GrapeCity
  18. ^ Balance Studios visits WINEstudios in Sendai, Japan
  19. ^ Miyagi MeySen Academy
  20. ^ GrapeCity announces ActiveReports Server for Web-based Self-Service Reporting

External links[edit]