By William Fellows BEA Systems Inc chairman and CEO Bill Coleman says that while top line growth will be in the region of 40% this year, well down on 1997, the company’s order pipeline is still smaller than it had previously anticipated would be at this time. Enterprise application spending is down and Y2K is […]
By William Fellows
BEA Systems Inc chairman and CEO Bill Coleman says that while top line growth will be in the region of 40% this year, well down on 1997, the company’s order pipeline is still smaller than it had previously anticipated would be at this time. Enterprise application spending is down and Y2K is helping put the brakes on. While PeopleSoft Inc has indicated it expects spending to come back up by mid-1999 (see separate story), Coleman says he can only hope that’s the case. He’s pinning his hopes on a large uptick in 2000. For instance, he said an unnamed company yesterday signed for several hundred thousand dollars worth of BEA software for immediate use, not the $5m it had originally anticipated it would spend on software to serve well into the future. The Top End OLTP monitor BEA bought from NCR Corp’s being melded in the Tuxedo software licensed from Novell Inc. M3 is the object-based evolution of both. With all three playing at the top-end, Coleman is using WebLogic and Enterprise Java Beans at the mid- and low-end of the market, especially in the internet and web space until these sectors are pushed gradually into enterprise production environments. In two years time, he hopes to have 25 high-end reference sites using the web-oriented software. Indeed Coleman believes EJB is going to do for application integration – convergence – what Windows did for relational databases ten years ago. With a Windows, OLE and an ODBC connection, any user could access relational data seamlessly. Moreover while the real window of opportunity for companies with EJB solutions will be in two to four year’s time, there will be, Coleman believes, room for only one winner at the top-end and maybe one at the low-end. IBM Corp and Microsoft Corp are in the running, but there’s little competition. This is probably why, as insiders have claimed, founders of EnterSoft, one of BEA’s recent acquisitions, are reportedly selling Hitachi Ltd’s TPbroker. Furthermore BEA says enterprise application integration technology and vertical markets of the kind New Era of Networks Inc and TSI International are focused on, even in two years time, will be only a third of the $6bn market opportunity it is aiming at. EAI is about pipes and connectors, Coleman says. BEA will build the pipes but partner for the connector. It has signed resale agreements with TSI (BEA Connect) and Israeli company Oshap Technology Ltd’s Mint Communications, the Swift banking software expert. Given that Neon, TSI and others operate in vertical markets, Neon’s best bet would be to use the cash it has just raised to buy Mint, Coleman ventures. Coleman says he’s sitting pretty with six out of what he claims are the world’s top ten middleware and integration architects, all of whom started out at IBM. Microsoft Corp has two and IBM the other two, he suggests.