IBM Will Acquire AptSoft

January 23, 2008

I was wondering when IBM would actually jump into the event processing market.  

Well, it was announced today that IBM will acquire Aptsoft, adding an event processing platform to the IBM WebSphere porfolio.  IBM will also gain AptSoft’s event processing reference customers.  This was a smart move by IBM.

Oracle is acquiring BEA which uses Esper under the hood, another stream processing engine. 

However, AptSoft has a more advanced user interface and graphical design-time environment when compared to the Oracle/BEA/Esper platform,; so the IBM/WebSphere/AptSoft offering will propel IBM to the top of the event processing market.

Now, it’s TIBCO’s turn to acquire an event stream (time series) processing platform to compliment their process-driven event processing offering.

BAM Solutions for CEP Engine Users

January 23, 2008

Today I noticed that SL Corporation has revamped their website with a new page, Solutions for CEP Engine Users.    The page is well written, reinforcing some of my earlier posts on the value proposition for CEP; so I hope the folks at SL don’t mind if I repost their excellent thoughts on BAM and CEP here. 

Solutions for CEP Engine Users by SL Corporation

© 1999-2008 Sherrill-Lubinski Corporation. All rights reserved.

Complex Event Processing (CEP) is a relatively new technology that is used to help companies detect both opportunities and threats in real-time with minimal coding and reusable key performance indicators (KPIs) and business models. Just as services are shared and reused in a SOA, CEP permits the sharing and reuse of KPIs in business activity monitoring while efficiently processing events so businesses can act on situations that impact business and take advantage of real-time processing.

Business activity monitoring, often referred to as BAM, is the capability that Gartner and other distinguished analysts use to describe this visualization capability in the business world. BAM introduces a human element to CEP. It is well-established that the human mind is, today and for the foreseeable future, far superior to machine intelligence in making sense out of complicated situations and events. Therefore, BAM is critical to the success of any complex event processing (CEP) solution.

Depending on an organization’s mission, BAM can be used in various levels within an event processing solution to help users visualize and understand the dynamics behind rapidly changing situations and critical business events. In other words, BAM plays a key role wherever there is a need for better insight into the myriad events that effect your business operations.

BAM provides real-time visualization and alerting capabilities for users to better understand how business events impact their organization. BAM software permits users to quickly prototype, build and deploy event processing business solutions. For example, a telecommunications company would find BAM useful to achieve event-driven SLA monitoring and management; and a large retailer would find BAM important as they stay on top of business-critical events in their supply chain.

Insight gained from BAM, in concert with event processing solutions, enable organizations to make better and faster business decisions so they can rapidly sense and respond to threats, problems and opportunities. BAM solutions permit applications to be designed, deployed and modified rapidly with minimal or no coding resulting in significantly lower development costs. Therefore, a key benefit of BAM in real-time event processing solutions is that KPIs can be deployed, monitored, revised, reused and utilized, economically and rapidly.

Depending on the business application, BAM-enabled visualization is required at numerous levels in an event processing architecture. For example, events from across the enterprise are typically processed by a CEP software platforms from companies such as TIBCO, BEA (soon to be Oracle), Progress Apama, StreamBase, Aleri, and Coral8.

Long before KPIs are displayed to the business users, BAM tools can be configured to assist application developers to monitor and visualize the raw event stream. For the developer, their business is developing applications, and BAM can be very useful when designing KPIs for event processing applications.

Fine-tuned KPIs that have been derived from an event processing application are displayed to the business user. These KPIs can indicate risks, threats, problems, opportunities and other emerging business situations that impact the business.

BAM, in concert with state-of-the-art event processing software, provides the framework for a complete sense-and-respond capability for businesses. Processing raw events and event streams for business opportunities and threats requires robust and rapidly deployable visualization solutions. This is the reason that many distinguished analysts believe that BAM and CEP are complementary and critically interdependent core business capabilities. We at SL Corporation agree, and are pleased to be the leading BAM visualization platform in the event processing/CEP ecosystem today.

© 1999-2008 Sherrill-Lubinski Corporation. All rights reserved.

Want Great Technology? Buy TIBCO (TIBX)

January 18, 2008

We all know that Oracle just bought BEA.

Personally, I would have recommended Oracle to buy TIBCO instead of BEA. TIBCO has great technology and their software stack is richer and more diverse that BEA’s. TIBCO spends a lot of  development resources on their graphical user interfaces and design-time and modelling environment to make business integration very easy.  TIBCO’s stockholders, like most great companies with a long history of the same executive management and management style, would greatly benefit from the acquisition.

Citigroup’s John Reilly Walsh upgraded TIBCO (TIBX) shares to Buy from Hold based on Oracle’s purchase of BEA. John thinks TIBCO, the last real middleplayer on the block, will also be purchased, and names IBM as the most likely candidate, “but adds that SAP, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Oracle (ORCL), Sun Microsystems (JAVA), EMC and Cisco (CSCO) all could potentially be interested.”

If Oracle bought TIBCO, a very interesting idea, that would leave Oracle the King of Integration (KOI). I don’t think HP, EMC or Cisco would want to purchase a company that is so fundamentally different than their core business.

This begs the question, should Sun buy TIBCO and challenge Oracle, now that Sun has purchased MySQL?

So the three most likely scenarios are:

  • IBM buys TIBCO
  • Sun buys TIBCO
  • Oracle buys TIBCO

In my opinion, the most interesting scenario would be Sun following their purchase of MySQL with a purchase of TIBCO. This could create a strong competitor to Oracle.

On the other hand, Oracle would benefit from the purchase, if only a defensive mechanism against a Sun/MySQL/TIBCO triple-threat, and they would get great technology at the same time.

I would be surprised if IBM buys TIBCO, but if they do, this would also keep things interesting!

From a cultural perspective, the TIBCO culture and the Sun culture are the best match.   I don’t think that the SAP or  IBM cultures are very suitable for TIBCO employess.  So, if you toss in the cultural perspective, Sun, cash rich and in acquisition mode, seems the most likely candidate to buy TIBCO.

Oracle to Buy BEA Systems for $8.5 Billion

January 16, 2008

After three months of wrangling over prices, Oracle Corp. will acquire BEA Systems in a $8.5 billion deal.

This means that Oracle will now have an event processing platform, the Oracle WebLogic Event Server to compliment their product line.

Reference:  Oracle Strikes Deal to Buy BEA Systems for $8.5 Billion  (Wall Street Journal)

January 16, 2008 8:14 a.m.

Oracle Corp. said it will acquire BEA Systems in a $8.5 billion deal three months after BEA slapped away an Oracle takeover offer as too low.

Oracle would pay $19.38 for each BEA share, a 24% premium to Tuesday’s close price of $15.58.

Oracle made an unsolicited $6.7 billion, or $17 a share, takeover proposal in October, but the company let it expire weeks later after BEA said the bid was unacceptable. At the same time, BEA added it was looking to start negotiations with interested parties willing to pay at least $21 a share.

“The addition of BEA products and technology will significantly enhance and extend Oracle’s Fusion middleware software suite,” said Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison. “Middleware” is a general term for any programming that serves to mediate between two separate and often already existing programs.

BEA Chairman and CEO Alfred Chuang called the deal the culmination of a “diligent and thoughtful process” to maximize stockholder value. The company’s largest shareholder, billionaire Carl Icahn, had called for an auction to sell the business-management-software firm.

BEA is one of the few independent, midsize software companies left in Silicon Valley as the technology industry consolidates. Oracle has for years eyed BEA as an acquisition target.

BEA has been battling Oracle, International Business Machines Corp. and others in the market for middleware. BEA, with a product called WebLogic, pioneered one category of middleware called application servers that are used to build Web services.

Oracle expects the buyout to boost earnings by one cent to two cents a share, excluding items, in the first year after the deal closes. That is slated to happen by midyear.

Shares of Oracle fell in premarket trading to $20.80 after closing Tuesday at $21.31.