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Lynton Research Digest - 21st January 2004

The year end results season has started, with encouraging (if not earth shattering) results from webMethods and Iona. There's a bit of everything this week: M&A, partnering, OEM deals, growth forecasts, the works!

Regards Nigel

Ascential strikes EAI deal with PeopleSoft

PeopleSoft has obtained the right to embed data integration solutions from Ascential Software into core enterprise performance management applications, as well as to resell Ascential Packaged Application Connection Kits (PACKs) for several major enterprise software programs. Ascential DataStage will be immediately embedded in PeopleSoft Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) solutions, and Ascential MetaStage is expected to be incorporated to PeopleSoft's EPM solution later this year. PeopleSoft has also licensed DataStage Server and Ascential PACKs for PeopleSoft Enterprise and EnterpriseOne (formerly J.D. Edwards) products. PeopleSoft has plans to resell Ascential PACKs for SAP BW and SAP R/3, Siebel applications, and Oracle applications.

A 1999 deal with Informatica was up for renewal: "I don't see this as moving away from Informatica. It's moving toward Ascential," said PeopleSoft VP of product strategy Chris Leone. "(Ascential is) much closer to where PeopleSoft is headed, in focusing on EAI (enterprise application integration) and ETL capabilities and data quality. A big strategic advantage, from our perspective, is (Ascential's) focus on metadata management."

See InfoWorld: PeopleSoft dumps Informatica for Ascential license.

Although PeopleSoft claims this will be transparent to customers, anyone using currently using Informatica in earnest would find a move to Ascential more than a little challenging.

App Servers - a review of progress so far

ADTmag reviews developments in the application server market and speculates on what happens next. See ADTmag: App servers - Up from middleware.

XML based message hub will check in 30 million BAA passengers per year

An XML-based central messaging hub will help information exchange between air traffic control, airline systems, airport operators, handling agents, cleaning and catering services and so on at BAA's seven UK airports including Heathrow's £4bn Terminal Five (T5). See XML hub at heart of £4bn terminal.

Does anyone know who is the lucky vendor for this one?

Scoop! Web services and ESB "major technologies" for 2004

The EAI Industry Consortium believes the two major influencing technologies for the year ahead will be the standards based Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and Web services. “ESB applications can do 80% of what people want to do but for 10% of the price and that 80% might meet the functionality required by that company." says Steve Craggs, EAIIC's European Vice-Chair. See EAIIC Gazes Into Integration Crystal Ball.

Forecast CRM growth is an opportunity for analytics

The CRM market is expected to grow to $11bn - up about 10% from last year - but much of this growth will be concentrated into analysing and profiting from the data that is already collected, says AMR Research. See Newsfactor: Analytics Tops 2004 CRM Priority List.

That should help along those EAI vendors who include analytics in their product suites.

EIU says UK IT budgets are going up

58 per cent of the 150 senior UK executives surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit are planning to increase IT spending in 2004. See Computing: UK companies plan to increase their IT spending.

IONA Q4 - revenue bounce back at last

IONA has reported Q4 revenues of $23.4 million - up 35% on catastrophic Q3, while product license revenue was up 74%. However the revenue is still down 24% ($6.4m) on Q4/2002 - almost entirely accounted for by the collapse in new product sales during 2003. On the bright side, Q4 losses are down to just under $5m from last years $308m (although that was almost entirely down to one off writeoffs of asset values and goodwill). Iona expects revenues of $16-17m in Q1 - which would be about the same as Q1/2003 but still less than half of Q1/2002's $39.5m revenues.

See Boston Business Journal: Iona sales grow, but Q4 loss reported.

Let's hope the recent Artix release and the JBoss relationship help IONA pull off their tricky turnaround.

M&A is back - GXS pays $30m for HAHT Commerce

HAHT develops demand chain software. GXS, formerly a GEC subsidiary, runs a huge B2B e-commerce network that manages 1 billion transactions a year for more than 100,000 trading partners. By combining Haht's software with its own products, GXS will be able to offer customers a more soup-to-nuts data synchronization bundle. See ADTmag: Global eXchange dons HAHT for $30M.

PolarLake launches SWIFT based solutions

Following its recent reseller agreement with Sun Micro, PolarLake has now announced the rollout of support for SWIFT XML messages

See ebizQ: PolarLake Teams With SWIFT.

Savvion to resell iWay connectors

Savvion is to integrate iWay adapters into its business process management platform. See ebizQ: Savvion Savvy On iWay: Reselling Entire iWay Adapter Line.

Since acquiring Actional's adapter business last October, iWay (a subsidiary of Information Builders) is consolidating its position as the leading supplier of adapters to the trade. With partners like IBM, Microsoft, SAP, and Sonic, it's certainly hard to think of anyone who comes close to challenging them for breadth of coverage; competitors are either disappearing (Insevo/Taviz), consolidating (Actional, Striva), or just bumping along (Data Direct, Attunity). Maybe only 2002 startup Librados (which appears to be staffed completely by Insevo refugees) has the range of adapters to seriously challenge iWay.

Sforce stands to have a huge impact on salesforce.com

According to sforce product manager Adam Gross, salesforce.com is moving beyond the traditional CRM dichotomy, which required businesses to choose either a massively expensive and complex CRM offering that could be difficult to implement or a first-generation application service provider (ASP) whose offering was significantly cheaper but more limited than a full-blown in-house solution. Instead of forcing such a decision, salesforce.com merges the benefits of both options, he says. Read what analysts Yankee, AMR Research and Aberdeen Group have to say about the sforce phenomenon in Ecommerce Times: May the sforce Be with You.

Sonic Software wins NATO task

SonicMQ has been chosen for the NATO Air Command and Control System First Level of Capability (ACCS LOC1) program, which is designed to replace a variety of existing air defense systems in NATO Europe and provide force management, air mission control, airspace management, air traffic control, surveillance, and air command and control system management.

See Sonic: Selected for NATO Air Defense Infrastructure.

I guess now that the Soviet threat is more or less diminished, we can safely see off airborne intruders using Java Message Service...

Sterling Commerce synchronizes data

Sterling Commerce says it is providing customers with software and services to achieve complete data synchronization — "a standardized approach for establishing and maintaining consistent and accurate business information within and between companies in a supply chain." See ebizQ: Sterling Commerce Enters Data Synch Arena.

More a question of re-positioning their rather ancient Gentran Integration Suite, and adding a hosted service - the Sterling Data Sync Center - to assist with synchronizing data via UCCnet; this shouldn't be confused with database synchronization (aka change data transfer...).

Systinet partners with Vergil Technology for SOA

Vergil is based in Chennai, India. Its “Vergil Composite Application Builder Suite” – also known as VCAB Suite - is based on Web services standards and seamlessly integrated with Systinet’s WASP Server platform. It comes with a BPEL4WS compatible Business Process Orchestration Server and an Administration console. Vergil says its VCAB is the only tool focused at the business analyst (rather than Java developers).

See ebizQ: Vergil, Systinet Partner On Web Services-Based Composite Apps Builder Platform and Vergil's products page.

Reuters could pocket $500m from TIBCO shares

Reuters will make a public offering of 40 million Tibco shares, with the opportunity to increase that to 60 million. Given that Tibco has agreed to buy $115m of its own common stock from Reuters, it looks like the UK-based information provider could pocket about $500m. Reuters will still hold a substantial proportion of Tibco after the sale. As usual, the book is being run by Goldman Sachs.

See Tibco: Reuters to Offer 40 Million Shares of TIBCO Common Stock and Finextra: Reuters to float 40 million Tibco shares.

Tibco will still have around $450m of its cash pile left over. Increasing the free float of shares could depress prices (supply and demand) or might actually increase the value of the company by making it more susceptible to takeover. How well will Tibco take over the task of selling its own software in the finance vertical?

Unstructured data analysis - time for BI/EII/ETL vendors to get interested?

The most interesting work in business intelligence today surrounds the merger of two technologies –­ structured data analysis and unstructured data analysis. The basic idea is straightforward: analyze unstructured text, identify important terms and concepts, and map that information into a more structured format that is suitable for data mining and statistical analysis. Read DMReview: The Most Important BI Merger Isn't Making Headlines.

We slaves to structured data should sit up and take notice of the possibilities in unstructured (free format / natural language) data - which tends to dwarf the volumes of data stored in structured database formats.

webMethods Q3 revenues up to $50.1m

As the earnings season kicks off again, webMethods reports Q3 revenues (to December) of approximately $50.1 million, compared to $45.4 million in the prior quarter and $53.8 million in the prior year period, with a GAAP loss of $11.1m. License revenue has slightly declined as a proportion of total since last year.

See CRN: WebMethods Meets Wall Street Estimates for Q3 2004.

webMethods is clearly hoping that its recent (relatively modestly priced) acquisitions and damascene conversion to standards will help it return to growth and profitability.


Revision r1.8 - 22 Jan 2004 - 13:58 GMT
Parents: Lynton Research > 2004 > Jan04
Copyright © 2001-2004 Nigel Thomas. External material referenced from this page is the property of its respective authors.