Monday, April 23, 2007

webMethods after Software AG

I have been having offline and online discussions with people about Software AG's acquisition of webMethods. Some of the concerns that we have discussed are:
  • Combined Company has multiple overlapping products: Products from Software AG, webMethods and Infravio overlap in SOA Registry area. They would have to identify how they want to position these products.
  • webMethods' History of Combining different finished products is not so great. They spent a hugh amount of time developing products such as Modeler, Workflow etc and took a long time to merge them.
  • webMethods' History of Product Upgrade is not great either: Customers who upgraded from ActiveWorks/webMethods Version 4 Solution to their Version 5 and then Version 6 would tell you nightmares they have had trying to do the upgrade. Now the customers face a similar issue upgrading from Workflow to the new modeling tool.
  • A foreign company: webMethods has had large Federal Accounts: DoD, Military using webMethods for EDI etc. Would they want to buy same software from a non-american company? It is not a fair world out there.
  • Open Source: webMethods has been using Open Source Tools into its products for a long time now. It built first version of webMethods Manager and Optimize on Tomcat, Hybernate etc. It used embedded Tomcat Server for variety of purpose. But it has not been so great in contributing to Open Source. Now it faces increasing compitition from open source world itself. Without having partners in that arena, it faces a great challange in small and medium enterprises.
  • Losing F2000 Customers: webMethods positioned itself as a solution provider in Fortune 2000 arena. That is a highly crowded space. Integration Tools from SAP and Oracle when bundled with respective ERP solutions promise a better value proposition to the Fortune 2000 companies. Fortune 2000 companies also find that their IT Teams tooled in Java and Java Servers are able to adapt to SAP and Oracle's J2EE solution easily compared to a non-J2EE webMethods (this is also being seen as a way to lower TCO by not requiring specialized webMethods skillset).

There are more things to discuss... will wait to hear comments.

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