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Thursday, August 18, 2005

IBM’s Middleware Acquisition Spree

We recently covered, IBM dominates the EAI market with more than one-third the marketshare of enterprise application integration market, wherein we wrote,"The acquisitions can also be seen to be leapfrogging IBM to head-on compettion with application-oriented providers of data integration, such as SAP and Oracle. No doubt we are seeing more and more product deals from IBM in the marketplace - IBM is definitely muscling in aggressively in the enteprise middleware and application integration market". Redherring writes , IBM not losing steam after 25 acquisitions in four years in the middleware segment. The perepective goes on like this -IBM’s appetite for middleware is shifting the industry’s focus to a segment of the software industry that was once a catchall for any software product not classified as an application or an operating system. Today middleware, the layer of software that facilitates communications among other software components across a network, has become a highly competitive market dominated by IBM and a collection of smaller players. "IBM is putting a huge amount of effort and money into basically creating a development environment out of WebSphere and DB2," said Charles King, an analyst with PundIT Research. “IBM is basically providing its partners with a platform for their applications. It’s a pretty unusual strategy IBM‘s partners bring the application and IBM l provides a one-stop shop for everything else. IBM focuses on acquisition prospects it has worked with and companies that have created products with which it is familiar. Portfolio rounding with partners having a lot of affinity with IBM technology is said to be the motto. IBM exited the applications business a few years ago and has since put together a formidable force of developers that build on its various middleware platforms. IBM’s direction is clearly toward being a business process outsourcing provider and getting as high up in the stack as they can go without stepping on the toes of their partners

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