BEA bets on standardized integration
BEA Systems hosted an analyst event in Half Moon Bay, California, this week to lift the fog around the company's business and technology strategy. Three messages jumped out at us:
BEA is serious about integration. Long criticized for its weakness in this area, BEA put a flag in the ground on integration. According to BEA, 65% of the company's R&D resources are focused on integration and a boatload of new executives hired away from integration pure-plays like Vitria, TIBCO, and webMethods. Also, the company left open the possibility of an acquisition to supplement WebLogic Integration's broker-class JMS messaging.
The product, sales, channel, and services teams are on the same page. Led by a fresh crop of seasoned IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft veterans, BEA has developed a clear and coordinated strategy to sell integration solutions directly through ISV and systems integrator partners and its own consulting organization. About 80% of the sales force has been trained to sell integration, and on the alliances side, BEA expects 40% of worldwide revenue and 50% of $1million plus deals to come through ISV and systems integrator partners by 2004.
BEA believes standards-based integration rules. According to Scott Dietzen, CTO of BEA Systems, standards-based integration — built on Java and Web services -- will narrow the field of viable competitors and force consolidation in the integration server market in the same way that J2EE shook up the application server market. As a result, Dietzen argues that BEA will build market presence by making integration cheaper, easier, and "more fun."
THE HURWITZ TAKE: BEA has made big bets in the past, including the bet on server-side Java instead of on the client and visually oriented development tools that don't alienate hardcore Java developers. Will the integration bet be as successful? We believe that some integration tasks are well suited to JMS and that emerging Web service standards will reduce users' dependence on expensive middleware. However, it won't eliminate the need for EAI tools anytime soon, and we doubt that integration will ever be fun.
Copyright 2002 Hurwitz Group Inc. This article is excerpted from TrendWatch, a weekly publication of Hurwitz Group Inc. - an analyst, research, and consulting firm. To register for a free email subscription, click here.
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