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Market Research Digest - 23 Oct 2002

A Chilly September for Software Firms

With the exception of the wireless and mobile sector, enterprise software companies fared poorly in September. The average price-to-revenue ratio decreased almost 16 percent--a decline of nearly 50 percent more than the

NASDAQ's drop. (free registration required)

ABN AMRO Private Banking Chooses Mercator to Provide Integration Solution for Regional Hubs in Europe and Asia

[Mercator](R) Integration Broker Technology Supports Front- and Back-Office Systems' A2A and XML Integration WILTON, Conn. & PARIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 22, 2002-- Mercator Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: MCTR - News), today announced that the Private Banking Business Unit of ABN AMRO's Private Client Asset Management division has selected Mercator to integrate operations at the bank's regional hubs in Luxembourg, Paris and Singapore. This is interesting to me as it shows that even in-house integration vendors struggle against the market leaders. At the beginning of this year ABN Amro North America spun off Neogration ( but clearly the Private Bank wasn't impressed...

BEA - Building a Unified Software Infrastructure for Financial Services

"What BEA's infrastructure does not deliver is the STP-specific requirements needed by the banking community; this is where our partners come in. We will take three partners in particular to illustrate how their capabilities enhance our infrastructure to deliver comprehensive STP capabilities. These are:

Lightening up EAI

See Carolyn April's recent article on "EAI lite" in InfoWorld We gave a background briefing to this journalist, and get a mention. SonicXQ is also mentioned, alongside Microsoft, as supporting "EAI Lite". The final word goes to webMethods, who say "The positioning [of EAI lite] is that you can start out small, then add things on. Implicit is that you can add on horsepower to scale, but I don't know that that can be proven." So time to show them, eh?

Grid Computing Needs A Vendor Boost (Forrester brief)

Summary: Today, enterprises test grid computing for specialized R&D tasks. Firms will benefit from using commercial grid software for workload management and low-cost supercomputing. But vendors must tackle grid computing's limitations to drive adoption.

Tech Recovery Update (Forrester) - The Tipping Point In 2003

Despite a comeback during the second half of 2002, we estimate tech sector revenues will end the year down 7.9%. The wheezing US economy keeps the sector down. Technology spending expands only when nominal GDP growth exceeds 4.5% per year. With a slower pace, the tech sector tends to contract. In Q2 2002, GDP grew by only 3.2% -- and the economy hasn't outpaced the tipping point since Q4 2000. Led by consumer services and retail industries, large firms expect IT spending to rise by an average of 2.3% this year. Less than one-fourth of firms plan to cut back on technology in 2002, and only 12% of companies expect to cut their current IT budgets during the second half of the year,1317,15809,00.html Forrester predicts US tech sector fall of 7.9% this year, 2003 growth 5.6, and double digit 10.7% in 2004 - as long as GDP predictions hold.

IBM standardizing workflow capabilities in WebSphere

IBM has announced its upcoming WebSphere Application Server 5.0 will include a new Web services workflow engine. The engine is IBM's precursor to support of a proposed workflow standard it is developing with Microsoft, and a key piece of the business process automation and integration strategy it has been crafting since acquiring integration vendor Crossworlds. This continues the trend for "enabling" functionality - once considered value added - to be absorbed into the appserver - just as 30 years ago the same happened with operating systems, 20 years ago with databases and 10 years ago with office suites. Independent BPM / Workflow vendors must hope that IBM will take as long to deliver this (in non-standard WSFL initially) as they have for the rest of WebSphere 5.

ILOG Reports Results for Fiscal 2003 First Quarter

Company Consolidates Sales, Marketing & Consulting Organizations PARIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 23, 2002--ILOGŪ (NASDAQ: ILOG; Euronext SICOVAM: 006673), the leading provider of enterprise-class software components, today reported revenues of $19.0 million and an operating loss of $0.9 million for the first quarter ended September 30, 2002 of its 2003 fiscal year. ILOG is a potential partner, and/or a competitor for SpiritIntellect with its JRules product.

Microsoft and Siebel ink CRM pact

The pact, which had been expected for more than a week, will result in each company spending millions of dollars to develop technologies and create a worldwide joint sales and services group. The companies will also make Siebel's software one of the first to work with Microsoft's .NET, a collection of Internet-based software and services that Chairman Bill Gates has said will become as important to Microsoft as its Windows operating system. _Siebel is the first big vendor to buy into .NET. It probably suits Siebel's desktop clientele - but I hope Thomas Siebel has a long spoon handy... "Longtime industry observers say Microsoft has a history of fallouts with its software business partners" - and that's an understatement. _ See also While Siebel plans to integrate its product offering with .Net, it will continue to also work with other platforms, most significantly Sun Microsystems' J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) technology.

PolarLake launches PolarLake Database Integrator

which allows database-centric applications to be fully integrated within an XML and Web services environment, without requiring changes to the deployed database. PolarLake is a SpiritSoft partner.


Progress Software has announced that it will buy XML tools and data management firm eXcelon for $24 million. Over the next six to 12 months, eXcelon's product line will be merged with that of Sonic Software, an integration and Web services subsidiary owned by Progress. For the full story, click:,289142,sid26_gci858343,00.html An internal eXcelon source tells us they have been acquired "For the XML Database - to form part of their offering to help customers develop service oriented architectures - more their Sonic XQ rather than just the messaging bus I believe. And not really to provide a caching mechanism from what I understand. It's not to help them provide (or improve) persistent messages" It's interesting to see the logic of this for Progress. At a stroke, they can more than double Sonic's sales, at a one off cost less than Progress's annual "investment" into Sonic. However, the downside is that eXcelon itself has been losing money hand over fist - faster than it can sell software (just like Sonic) so the first task will be to make swinging savings. Glad I'm not in the eXcelon marketing team! See also, eXcelon Corporation is a provider of data management software designed to accelerate the performance of distributed applications that are built using Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Java, and that are deployed on major software platforms. The Company's core products, the eXtensible Information Server (XIS), ObjectStore and Javlin, enhance the speed, flexibility, scalability and run-time availability of Web services and distributed applications. The Company's XML-based products include the XIS, Business Process Manager (BPM) and Stylus Studio products. eXcelon's customers include Phillips,, Swiss Re: Life and Health and NTT DoCoMo. _If you want to know why Excelon sold itself down the river, just look at their financial profile: They just didn't have the cash to continue losing $20M per quarter; it was sell or close, it looks like. The eXcelon boys did well, getting a 70c premium on each share (around 30% - not bad - particularly as it's all cash). What impact does this have on us? First, the bad news; Excelon gives Sonic a range of XML and BPM products including Stylus Studio, and some good name customers. But the good news for us is: - no sign yet that Sonic has noticed that the remains of ObjectDesign include a J2EE cache (Javlin). - PSC (the rest of Progress) gets eXcelon's data management products, including eXtensible Information Server (XIS), one of the industry's leading XML databases, and ObjectStore, the market leader in object databases; this is the team that builds Javlin. - look what happens when product companies are bought. Think about Tibco and Talarian; what synergies have they exploited so far? So we can hope for two parallel "not invented here" fights; between ObjectStore and Progress engineers, and between SonicXQ and BPM. _

Sun Cutting 11% of Work Force - Is Java in Trouble?

(October 18, 2002) - Sun Microsystems has cut 4,400 of its 39,400 employees today, in its second major round of cuts. Scott McNealy, Sun's chief executive, said he was slow to cut jobs because of the difficulty in replacing talent once the economy rebounds. Such a quick recovery is now seen as unlikely. For the three months ended Sept. 29, Sun lost $111 million, or 4 cents per share, compared with a loss of $180 million, or 6 cents per share, in the same period last year.


E-speak founder Rajiv Gupta has a new Web services company on his hands. Gupta has launched Confluent, which is focused on offering management capabilities in Web services platforms. The company hopes to lure businesses with its CORE Web Services Integration and Management Platform, which includes management features for security, failure, performance, and change and problem diagnosis. The other companies who adhere to similar Web services management goals as Confluent include upstarts Blue Titan, AmberPoint and Talking Blocks. [An analyst] said these are all firms trying to differentiate themselves in the market despite the fact that their goal is similar. None of them, he said, looks to be a clear winner because the niche is so young. But Confluent has the high-profile of Gupta and his team to throw around.

XML Global and Metaserver Bundle Integration Offerings

10/22/02, 8:30 a.m. EDT--XML middleware developer XML Global Technologies has entered into a strategic reseller agreement with business process integration software provider Metaserver. The two companies have combined the core technologies from GoXMLTransform Enterprise Edition and Metaserver 4.0, and will work together to market and sell the new products. The joint offerings are designed to help companies in industries such as finance, insurance, healthcare and manufacturing to adopt standards such as SWIFT, ACORD, HIPAA and ebXML. The combined product range will include solutions for B2B integration, data transformations and business process integration, with full support for Web services deployment.

Yet another integration suite "focused" at financial services, etc etc...

Revision r1.3 - 21 May 2003 - 11:29 GMT
Parents: 2002 > Oct02
Copyright © 2001-2004 Nigel Thomas. External material referenced from this page is the property of its respective authors.