IBM Targets Microsoft BizTalk With Integration Server

IBM has unveiled an integration server that is expected to compete with Microsoft BizTalk for the wallets of small to midsize businesses.

May 6, 2004

2 Min Read
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IBM on Wednesday unveiled an integration server that is expected to compete with Microsoft BizTalk for the wallets of small to midsize businesses.

The WebSphere Business Integration Server Express is for SMBs looking for a low-cost integration platform for connecting internal information technology systems or for automating business transactions over the Internet. The platform includes out-of-the-box adapters for connecting to databases and applications via Java-based standards, including JDBC and JMS, and extensible markup language, or XML.

In addition, the Armonk, N.Y.-based company unveiled two products built for companies within the electronics and life sciences industries.

All the products are members of IBM's Express portfolio, which bundles hardware, middleware, services and financing for the SMB market.

The new integration server, scheduled to ship May 14, is priced squarely against Microsoft's integration platform BizTalk, Shawn Willett, analyst for market researcher Current Analysis, said. Starting price for IBM's product is about $6,000 per processor, while BizTalk runs about $7,000."(IBM) is obviously trying to hit right under BizTalk," Willett said.

IBM has made a strong push in the SMB market with Express versions of the company's DB2 database, WebSphere application server and portal, and other products.

"They've made quite an effort," Willett said of IBM. "I don't know if they're in first place, but they're making enough of a dent in the market to make it interesting. IBM has the resources to take market share from Microsoft."

Nevertheless, the success of IBM's new integration server will rest with value added resellers, Willett said. A lot of VARs serving SMBs with customer relationship management software, accounting systems and industry-specific applications will have to be willing to support the IBM product.

"I see them playing a critical role in the use of this product," Willett said.For the higher end of the mid-market, IBM is selling a beefed up version of WebSphere Business Integration Server Express for $20,000 per processor. Customized adapters for SAP AG and PeopleSoft applications are available for $15,000 each. At that end of the market, IBM is bumping up against integration vendors WebMethods, SeeBeyond and others, Willett said.

For the electronics industry, IBM launched on Wednesday the Product Lifecycle Management Express Solution for Electronics Manufacturers. The product includes collaboration software for engineering teams, and IBM hardware for enhanced graphics performance and secure storage of product designs. Starting prices is $14,240.

The Life Sciences Solution for PeopleSoft is geared to bio-pharma, life science and medical device companies looking for pre-configured software to support business processes related to general ledger, accounts payable, job cost and supply procurement. Pricing was not released.

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