Friday, April 06, 2007

Who acquires what and why?

With so many acquisitions and mergers happening off late, it has become very difficult to keep pace with them . The new one in the bloc is "Software AG to acquire webMethods". There is a clear overlap in the product offerings of these companies. For example, Software AG has a service registry/repository product CentraSite that clearly overlaps with wM registry and repository products X Registry and X Broker from their earlier Infravio acquisition. There is a similar overlap in the BPM space too. webMethods has BPM tools as part of its integration platform ( PRT, Modeller, Workflow etc) and Software AG has a similar product Crossvision. Which one of these parallel products (or both) would survive the merger and would be positioned to the customer, only the future will tell. But, this would definitely create confusion and apprehension among the existing customers of both these vendors.

Now the news... webMethods sold itself for less than half ($550 million compared to $1.3 billion for Active) compared to what it paid back in 1999 for Active Software, the EAI company that was supposed to be its future. Reasons... webMethods was sinking back into the red with CEO David Mitchell blaming it on poor sales execution and gaps in its SOA offerings.

"Miko Matsumura" the face of "SOA" for webMethods (remember he is originally from Infravio) gave a very calculated answer to the future of the Registry Segment. In his opinion, JAXR ( compliance of these products would help customers to save their investments irrespective of the future road map.

Software AG relies on a heavily-promoted strategic partnership with Fujitsu in the BPM segment for Crossvision that now faces competition from webMethods. But according to Software AG CEO Karl-Heinz "There is a significant sales pipeline with the Fujitsu product, and Fujitsu BPM will continue to be the company’s strategy in the short- and mid-term". But in the next breath he had also added, "[Our own] IP always has a preference wherever they fit into same [product] segment."

So, it may not be "end of the road" for existing webMethods products.....

No comments: