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Ariba to Leave Integration to Specialists

Written By: D. Geller
Published On: December 15 1999

Event Summary

Business-to-business E-purchasing company Ariba Inc. (Nasdaq: ARBA) has selected software tool maker Tibco Software Inc. (Nasdaq TIBX) to help Ariba's customers connect their backend enterprise systems to the Ariba Network. Ariba supplies its own software to connect its customers to systems by vendors such as SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle and Baan, but according to Ariba VP Dave Rome, the use of specialists such as Tibco will be more efficient.

Market Impact

Together with recent partnerships agreements with Siebel and InterWorld Ariba is giving every indication of having chosen to focus its resources on its core business, the creation of catalog-based marketplaces. While there is no reason to expect any fundamental changes in Ariba's product capabilities in the near future as a result of this announcement, there are two important results. First, if the transfer of responsibility to Tibco is successful, Ariba will be offering a much more effective level of integration with enterprise systems that is does now. Second, as it sheds the costs of maintaining its own integration software, Ariba will have that much more to apply to enhancing and marketing its product.

By this move Ariba is acknowledging that applications middleware is a maturing business, and that an open systems approach will let any integration systems vendor serve as a bridge between Ariba's systems and backend corporate systems. Ariba believes that this will ultimately lead to faster deployment for Ariba's customers .

User Recommendations

Ariba customers for whom such integration is important - or who may be contemplating the acquisition of an ERP system - will want to find out the details and timing. Customers will be free to continue with Ariba's current approach, engage Tibco, or use some other middleware solution. Those organizations who have already customized Ariba's propreitary adaptors should immediately press for a migration plan to Tibco, while those considering Ariba should probe more deeply into the capabilities of the Tibco product. Some customers will find that this announcement makes Ariba a more suitable choice, but others may discover that current back-end integration capabilities move Ariba lower down on their short list of vendors. In that case, they will have leverage to do some strong price negotiating with Ariba.

 
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