To BEA or Not to BEA: Is That the Question?
BEA Systems Inc., announced that twelve Business-To-Business and Enterprise
Application Integration vendors have teamed with them to provide e-business
solutions, as members of their BEA Professional Service Provider Program.
These new providers span the United States and the EMEA (Europe-Middle
East-Africa) markets, and will leverage their vertical market and e-business
expertise to implement the BEA eLink suite. The suite provides eLink
Adapters that are integration components that provide "out-of-the-box"
functionality without programming, according to BEA. They expect to provide
transaction monitoring, application connections, business process integration,
and data integration.
twelve integrators and consultancies would appear on the short list for
any company undertaking an e-commerce integration project," said Barbara
Britton, president of the BEA E-Commerce Integration Division. "Marrying
our technology and training with their expertise and experience will help
businesses in any number of industries across the globe solve their unique
Internet integration challenges and bring complete e-commerce solutions
to market faster."
addition, BEA has announced their BEA WebLogic Collaborate product as
a beta release in July. The product is currently being tested by United
Airlines and DHL Worldwide Express, among others. This product is designed
to provide a B2B integration platform to facilitate trading exchanges
and supply chain processes. The product is comprised of an XML hub, access
enablers, and administrative tools. It is designed to provide workflow
to simplify trading processes and shared business.
BEA is one of the major players in the EAI (Enterprise Application Integration)
space, with an approximate market share of 16.2% (the only player in the
market estimated to be larger is IBM, at 21.6%). The trick to EAI is typically
consultancy, since every company designs their business processes differently.
Despite what many vendors claim, there is no true "out-of-box" solution,
so a strong partnering with consulting firms which are trained in the
EAI and B2B arenas is a very wise move. What remains to be seen is whether
the training program on BEA's tools is sufficient to make these consultancies
Customers evaluating EAI and B2B solutions should include BEA Systems
on a short list of vendors to be considered for the creation of a custom
solution. As companies are rapidly realizing, e-business is a cost effective
way to facilitate transactions with customers and suppliers, and cannot
be ignored any longer. EAI vendors provide many proven methods to improve
business, particularly in the B2B and extended supply chain management
arenas. As always, reference sites, preferably in the same vertical market
as the company's, should be investigated in depth. In addition, any consultants
who may be used to deploy the solution should be strongly vetted to ensure
that they have the proper skills to guarantee success on the project.