To BEA or Not to BEA: Is That the Question?

  • Written By: M. Reed
  • Published: July 6 2000

To BEA or Not to BEA: Is That the Question?
M. Reed - July 6, 2000

Event Summary

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.

"These 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."

In 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.

Market Impact

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 successful.

User Recommendations

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.

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