Motiva Software shuts down without notice

Last Friday, Motiva Software Corp. shut its doors unexpectedly, without giving its customers any notice.

According to a telephone message at 1-888-motiva1, the company has "ceased operations," effective as of last Friday. The company's Web site has also shut down.

Frank Tracey, manager of the IT Project Office of Gates Rubber Co. in Denver, is none too happy about it. Tracey said Gates, a global manufacturer of automotive and industrial belt and hose products, is currently using Motiva software to manage documents in its hose and connector division. Tracey said the company, which has spent $150,000 on Motiva products, was just talking to Motiva about expanding its use to other divisions.

"We just had our local rep and Motiva's COO out here last Thursday to talk about a new project, and there was no mention of them shutting down," Tracey said. "Then, the next day, I heard from the rep, who said they were out of business."

In a telephone interview, Steve Stonestreet, Gates' Motiva representative, said his information was that "investors pulled out, and Motiva pulled the plug [on its operations]."

Motiva executives could not be reached for comment.

Before its demise, San Diego-based Motiva Software, which was founded in 1994, developed software to help engineering and manufacturing firms manage and control technical data. In February 1998, Cupertino, Calif.-based Autodesk Inc., which develops PC-based design software, made a multimillion-dollar investment in Motiva. Autodesk transferred its WorkCenter drawing management software to Motiva and later renamed it Motiva DesignGroup so it could deliver the next generation of document management and workflow automation capabilities to its customers.

Alice Quinn, an Autodesk spokeswoman, said that as far as she knows, Motiva could not raise the funds needed to continue operating. She said that during the past several years, Autodesk has written off the investment it made in Motiva, so Motiva's decision to shut down will not affect her company. She added that Motiva is currently trying to figure out what to do with its customers.

"Motiva's customers were Motiva's customers; our customers are not affected by [their decision to shut down]," Quinn said.

Copyright © 2000 IDG Communications, Inc.

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