Integration, the Axway way

Integration, the Axway way

French developer Axway has completed integration efforts after its acquisition of the Asian assets of fellow enterprise application integration software maker Viewlocity.

Lee Loncasty, the newly appointed managing director of Axway Australasia, said it was "one of those acquisitions that has been incredibly effective", and that Axway had benefited in Australia by inheriting Viewlocity's installed base of more than 20 users, grouped mainly in the logistics and transportation industries. She said Axway had spent the last several months migrating its applications to be compatible with Viewlocity's Integration Broker, now to be known as XIB (eXtended Information Broker).

"Axway didn't have an integration broker story. Axway is strong in other areas, such as file transfers, real-time design of interfaces, and monitoring of messages," said Ms Loncasty.

The enterprise application integration (EAI) industry has not grown over the last twelve months, with contenders like Iona Technologies, Mercator Software and SeeBeyond Technology all reporting poor figures despite previous rosy forecasts. Ms Loncasty said Axway, and its parent company Sopra Group, had a different management approach that had meant that Axway had been profitable for the past two years, and Sopra had been profitable in every year of the last 34."Our strategy is to remain small and to grow as the business grows. A lot of our competitors grew on the dot com wave," she said.

Ms Loncasty said that demand for better return on investment was one of the top three issues for information managers and CIOs, which EAI was aimed at delivering.

"It is not an area that's fallen by the way side because it is not needed. It is just that the business results have not matched. Business processes are still very ineffective when you have to write multiple interfaces for different applications. You can get away with it for a while during tough economic times, but it doesn't scale," she said.

While Axway's Australian customers are mostly confined to fields in which Viewlocity was proficient, Ms Loncasty said the company wanted to expand into other vertical markets, such as the financial services industry.

One of the big questions in the establishment of business-to-business electronic marketplaces is what the business driver will be - whether it is a peak industry body setting a technical standard, or whether a so-called channel leader (like Coles Myer in the retail industry) would impose its own requirements on their partners. Ms Loncasty said that she was not seeing development of intra-industry e-commerce being driven by standards, beyond the usual adherence to Web standards like XML or EDI."Most organisations are following the standards defined for the Web. It is rare for a user to put out a tender for themselves that's outside the normal standards. There are so many different flavours, of course, but we're not seeing it being driven by standards.

"Organisations will tend to force certain data formats on their partners, be they suppliers or consumers. That's what makes EAI technology so attractive, because it handles that transformation for you."

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