Interviewing Filemaker's Thomas Kunetz
The Mac database leader's Technical Manager for Southern Europe
Macuarium We're interviewing Mr Thomas Kunetz, Technical Manager Southern Europe for Filemaker. Could you tell us more about what you do and the way FileMaker works in Europe?
Thomas Kunetz I am in charge of all the technical aspects of the FileMaker product family in Southern Europe. This include seminars, press conferences, technical presentations and supervising the technical support.
There are 3 FileMaker offices in Europe (France, England, Germany) in addition to the European headquarter, based in England. In the countries where there is no direct representation, we have a close relationship with partners who act as FileMaker representatives on a sales and marketing point of view. In Spain, the company is called SMPS and our collaboration is now lasting for years.
Macuarium Is FileMaker still a 100% subsidary of Apple Computer? What is your day-to-day relationship with it in Europe? Is there a direct working collaboration?
Thomas Kunetz FileMaker Inc is a 100% wholly owned subsidiary of Apple Computer Inc.
FileMaker in Europe reports to FileMaker Inc in America and we work closely with Apple locally at every opportunity to maximise our business for the corporate good and the mutual benefit of our customers.
Macuarium We have seen the new FileMaker 7 Pro and Server products. They incorporate a lot of changes. What are, in your opinion, the most relevant ones? What are the goals of those changes?
Thomas Kunetz As you said we added a lot of features in this new version. To me the most relevant ones are the new relational model (including the new relationships graph), the ability to import, export and store any type of files, and the possibility to open multiple-windows of the same database.
Behind this, our goal was to make FileMaker Pro 7 ever more powerful but keeping its legendary ease of use. We dramatically increased the database capacity with an expanded database size (8 terabytes) that is 4,000 times the old limit.
With more than 100 new features, FileMaker Pro 7 is the easiest-to-use, most customizable new version of FileMaker ever, and manages even more information than ever before!
Macuarium In the database market field, where would you position the different FileMaker products? (if you have a chart, it may come handy :-)). Who is your main competition in each segment?
Thomas Kunetz Our competition ranges from "paper and cardboard" (people who don't have a computer process), to Oracle (people who use a big database even when it is overkill).
Many of our first time customer come to us from Excel (when the limitations of the spreadsheet for data entry and reporting and sharing are finally too much), but the closest direct competitor is probably Access (although it is more difficult to use).
|Filemaker against other product types, according to the company
Macuarium You are starting to try out a new concept of pre-built applications. During the Madrid presentation we were really curious about the idea. What can you tell us about them? Where can potential customers have a look at them?
Thomas Kunetz FileMaker Applications, first launched last September, have been created to answer a growing need in the business community for point solutions that are ready made and address a specific need.
Yet at the same time, all FileMaker Applications - including FileMaker Meetings, FileMaker Tasks, FileMaker Donations and FileMaker Recruiter - can be easily customized to continue to meet the evolving needs of users. At the moment these Applications are available in English only, and only Meetings and Tasks are sold in Europe.
Macuarium What resources do Spanish FM users have for learning to build FM applications? Besides our own Desarrollo forum :-). Things like developer conferences, lists...
Thomas Kunetz FileMaker Pro 7 includes 30 starter solutions. They are ready-to-use but can also be customized in accordance with the user's wishes, and provide a great resource for new ideas.
FileMaker users can also find a lot of resources on our Spanish web site such as white papers, technical briefs, trainers...
Macuarium Many people are not aware that there is a lot of FM pre-built applications made by the members of Filemakers FSA. How can they get to know them?
Thomas Kunetz FM third-party applications are listed on the filemaker.com web site. http://www.filemaker.com/solutions/
They also can find on the Spanish site, a list of the Spanish developers
with the solutions they propose. http://www2.filemaker.fr/spain/solutions/fsa.html
Macuarium What is your relationship with Microsoft, as competitors and as compatible applications? For FM6 you insisted a lot on compatibility issues; now on FM7 you can move files back and forth between systems. Has anything else improved?
Thomas Kunetz FileMaker Pro software works well with all Microsoft Office applications.
The software supports all key formats for importing and exporting information. In addition, Microsoft Excel users can easily convert Excel spreadsheet data into FileMaker Pro relational databases in just a few clicks. Further, FileMaker Pro 7's container fields can store and export all binary files, including Word, Powerpoint, etc. for easy document management.
Macuarium What is your relationship with Apple, at a product level? How do you integrate, and how are you taking advantage of, the modern Mac OS X?
Thomas Kunetz FileMaker Pro remains at the forefront of support for Mac OS X. The last three versions of FileMaker Pro have run on Mac OS X. We work closely with Apple's Developer Group to maximize and leverage new OS capabilities.
Macuarium What is there to look forward to from FileMaker in the near future?
Thomas Kunetz Unfortunately, we can't give any information on FileMaker's future directions.
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