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Lynton Research Digest - 15th October 2003

Barclays saves £1bn on IT

Barclays has achieved substantial cost reductions over four years by outsourcing, rationalising, and simplifying its systems. See Computing.

Looking at how the money was saved, it seems to me that they've just tightened up their organisation a tad. It sounds like saying "Shoes save the Philipines $1 million" when in fact all you did was close Imelda Marcos's expense account and stop sending rivers of money to Jimmy Choo. And Barclays is still spending £300m per year on IT...

Cape Clear looks for telco business

Cape Clear 4.5 is intended to support a variety of common telco tasks, for example integrating third-party content, such as stock market updates and sports scores, into cell-phone services. It uses language neutral web services interfaces, as well as asynchronous services based on fire and forget messaging using JMS or MQSeries.

See Cape Clear press release and ADTmag.

Composite releases the Composite Information Server

Another integration startup, Composite Software has delivered an enterprise information integration (EII) product. EII is a relatively new acronym, popularised by vendors such as BEA (Liquid Data), IBM (DB2 Information Integrator), Actuate (with its Nimble purchase) and Sagent. Rather than traditional data warehousing (based on replication) EII products attempt to offer universal access to any database (relational, XML or other).

See SearchWebServices.

So, how will Composite manage to distinguish itself from the very substantial competition?

IBM acquires CrossAccess

Composite Software's job won't be made any easier by the announcement that IBM has agreed to buy CrossAccess Corp. Their eXadas product is already certified with DB2 Information Integrator. CrossAccess has been knocking around for several years; here's another example of a smallish technology company coming to terms with market conditions.

Deloitte and Touche Fast 500

The latest North American Fast 500 list is out. Often the preserve of smaller companies (so much easier to double if you are only two men and a dog) you can still see better known businesses in good positions - such as webMethods (4th with an incredible 118,685% growth over 5 years), Plumtree (12th, 45,712%), Critical Path (43rd, 9,614%) - and rather surprisingly the (not currently very popular) SCO Group at 75th (5,978%).

The law of diminishing returns sees Ariba down to 134 (down from 14th in 2002), F5 Networks at 167 (16th in 2002), Foundry Networks at 202 (49th in 2002); other fallers include Vitria at 266 (2000: 55th, 1999 21st) and Informatica at just 426th (from 43rd in 2000). BEA Systems is placed 461st (2002: 290th, 2001: 72nd).

See the Deloitte and Touche Fast 500.

EMC swoops on Documentum

EMC is moving away from commodity storage management and into the (for EMC) uncharted waters of content management with its $1.7bn all-share purchase of Documentum. It is looking to get 30% of revenues from software, and hopes this will deliver the last few points.

See Computer Business Review.

Fair Isaac's Blaze Advisor validated with Siebel's Universal Application Network

Siebel customers can now automate decision making by plugging Blaze Advisor into Siebel and - using UAN - any related applications.

Siebel sees this playing particularly well in the financial services industry, where a number of banks, credit companies, and insurers already use Advisor rules technology to help them make decisions (credit scoring, setting insurance premiums, etc).

See Fair Isaacs press release.

IBM launches Orchestrator server provisioning bundle

Targeting the web server market, Web Infrastructure Orchestration is a package containing IBM's Intel-based BladeCenter servers and pre-integrated versions of software - WebSphere application server, DB2 database software, Tivoli Storage Manager and, underpinning the whole offering, Tivoli's Intelligent ThinkDynamic Orchestrator server provisioning technology. More bundles are promised soon. Pricing for the Orchestrator starts at $20k, but with the rest, bundle prices will be around $300k.

See VNUnet.

IBM also unveiled a "capacity on demand" version of BladeCenter - 14 blades with 7 running, 7 paid for "as used over a six month activation period". The on demand model seems flawed if your bill can go up but not back down again; this is no different from buy now, pay later...

Portlets standard (JSR-168) finalised

After initial confusion last year, when two incompatible portlet standards were put forward at the same time, the JCP has come up with an agreed solution to allow interoperability between portals and portlets from different vendors.

For a description of portlets, see Introducing the Portlet Specification (JavaWorld). You can also read the original JSR. A thread on portals at TheServerSide discusses some of the open source options, including Jakarta's Pluto.

WebMethods picks up The Mind Electric

webMethods has announced the acquisition of Web services tool vendor The Mind Electric (TME). TME founder Graham Glass will become webMethod's new CTO. TME's Glue will be marketed as webMethods Glue and the Gaia product will be named webMethods Fabric. webMethods also acquired portal vendor DataChannel.

See [press releas: webMethods ends the era of proprietary integration, TheServerSide and Internet News.

That seems to continue webMethods' shift from being a proprietary, closed, backward looking kind of a company to being open and standards based. First JBoss, now TME. A total of $32 million in cash was paid (I'm not clear if that includes Dante and Data Channel or just TME) - this looks very good for TME and should save webMethods a truckload of wasted development dollars.

Bandwidth isn't the answer, says Yankee Group

In "Traffic Management: Optimizing the Enterprise Network for Maximum Business Value" - a report commissioned by Packeteer - Yankee squashes the theory that you can simply throw bandwidth at applications to improve response time. Instead, more pro-active techniques such as traffic shaping are needed. See Network World Fusion Part 1:Bandwidth isnít the answer, Yankee Group says and Part 2: Yankee lays out performance-optimization options.

Revision r1.6 - 15 Oct 2003 - 08:25 GMT
Parents: 2003 > Oct03
Copyright © 2001-2004 Nigel Thomas. External material referenced from this page is the property of its respective authors.