TOP 10 POINTS TO CONSIDER IN A BUSINESS INTEGRATION VENDOR Business integration provides you with two primary things: real-time access to business information, and the insight needed to manage all of your critical processes. With business integration you see how business processes are webMethods has more performing, predict what might happen in the future and adjust those than 1,250 customers processes rapidly to address the changes faced by your business. Using worldwide, including business integration you can create new applications across your enterprise Global 2000 leaders and realize significant increases in business process productivity. such as Wells Fargo, A complete business integration platform will help harness your IT assets and Apple, Eastman construct the complex business processes that drive your enterprise. Selecting Chemical Company, and deploying the right integration solution will give your company a key competitive differentiator, increase revenues, reduce costs, and help you International Paper, deliver the best service to your customers. Office Depot, Henkel KG&A, American In short, with business integration you can realize the full value of your IT investments and have a direct impact on your enterprise. Electric Power (AEP) and Applied Materials. What to Look for in an Integration Vendor Selecting the right business integration vendor is a challenge. The number of vendors promising a comprehensive and unified integration solution grows daily, as does the variety of approaches to solving the integration problem. While it is essential to focus on what is critical for your company, it is also important to evaluate vendors using a common set of metrics. This document uses customer feedback taken from a broad portfolio of evaluations to offer key factors and considerations to use when selecting an integration software vendor: Track record of customer success Proven corporate strength Speed of implementation Manageability Independence Mature architecture Completeness Scalability Strong partner network 3877 Fairfax Ridge Road Coherent product strategy Fairfax, VA 22030 USA www.webmethods.com ©2005 All Rights Reserved. webMethods, Inc. 1. Customer Success The most important consideration is this: has the vendor made companies similar to yours successful? What is the vendor’s track record, how do they treat customers, and how do their customers view them? Why is this important? References. This is the biggest indicator of customer success. Talk to some of the current customers using the product and find out what they “We're very pleased have to say about the vendor’s contributions to their success. Be sure to with webMethods' determine that the reference has placed integrations into production. solutions, and are Methodology and best practices. Ask the direct question: “How will you equally impressed with make me successful with your product?” Consider the answer carefully. the company's intelligent Look for a proven methodology to help you architect your integration solution that not only gets you into production quickly, but also enables and innovative approach you to stay in production as your enterprise integration needs change. to partnerships. webMethods has been a Strong professional services, training and technical customer support. It is very important to select a vendor that provides you with mentoring, strong advocate for training, and “lighthouse” services that allow you to be self-sufficient in Motorola's success from your implementation. Evaluate the quality of the customer support the beginning, and has offerings and look for high customer satisfaction levels taken from been integrally involved independent surveys. from design and Look for how actively the vendor solicits customer feedback to the planning, down to the future of the product. Determine how the vendor will address your flawless execution. The future requirements and how the vendor will incorporate customer technical conversations feedback into the future product roadmap. between our two Why webMethods? companies have borne innovative technology Production events. webMethods is the only vendor to report publicly solutions that drive value the number of projects that go live, a figure that now exceeds 160 projects a quarter. This means that more than one company per day for our business." somewhere around the world is starting to get a positive return on their Toby Redshaw, webMethods investment. Corporate Vice President of Customer focus. webMethods’ Global Customer Services group is Information dedicated to helping customers achieve successful implementation of Technology Strategy webMethods products. The GCS provides complete lifecycle support in and Business the implementation of webMethods’ integration solutions through world- Development, class education, consulting and technical support services. Motorola, Inc Proven Integration Methodology. webMethods integration methodology, GEAR, represents the best practices and experiential knowledge gained from a vast portfolio of successful projects. GEAR is a proven guide for high-quality projects that are on-time, on-budget and easy to maintain. Customer Satisfaction. webMethods’ revenue from existing customers consistently averages greater than 50% - a great measure of customer satisfaction. ©2005, webMethods, Inc. 2 2. Corporate Strength Corporate strength addresses a fundamental question: Does it make good business sense to select this vendor as a partner? Why is this important? Long-term vendor and product viability. As in all maturing markets, the business integration market is consolidating. It is therefore critical to select a vendor who will be there for the long term and whose products will be there for the long term. Financial strength. As the economy fluctuates, it is important that the “The integration solution vendor has a healthy financial position and is making the right amount of was going to be the investments in R&D to address your current and future problems. foundation for many of Industry leadership. If you are going to partner with a vendor for the our operations today and long haul, you want to select a vendor that is recognized by the industry in the future. We needed as a leader and that will continue to lead future innovations to maximize a solution that could the return on your integration investments. support us in the long run Why webMethods? and webMethods was a great fit. webMethods Product Viability. The components of the webMethods Fabric suite was able to not only are proven, reliable, and mature. The webMethods Broker first shipped in 1997, Integration Server in 1998, and Servicenet (a comprehensive provide us with an Web services framework) was available in 2003, ahead of any other major impressive vision for their integration vendor. In April of 2005, webMethods announced its latest solutions, but also show version – webMethods Fabric 6.5, continuing the legacy of innovation that with diverse that has been the hallmark of the company. capabilities, their Vendor Stability and Strength. webMethods has a strong cash solutions could scale with balance, the best customer base in the industry, is pro-forma profitable Unisys as our company and cash positive. continues to grow. We Corporate Commitment. The CEO and senior executives leading the were able to see the value company in Finance, Product Development and Marketing have all been very quickly.” with the company for more than 6 years and are committed to the continued success of webMethods and its customers. Neil Kevles, Application Industry Leadership. webMethods is the only pure-play integration Integration Technologies vendor on the Web Services Interoperability (WS-I) Board of Directors manager, Unisys. and is recognized as a leader by leading industry analyst firms. 3 ©2005 webMethods, Inc. 3. Speed of Implementation Integration software doesn’t deliver a return on investment until it has been successfully implemented and deployed. The faster you move into production, the faster you can realize returns and drive real value to your business. Look for a vendor that is able to get you into production. Faster. Why is this important? An integration vendor should demonstrate a focus for getting you into production via the tools and processes that facilitate rapid implementation, not just on technology. An integration solution should have a common graphical interface that minimizes or even eliminates the need for coding. This speeds development, eliminates the need for specialty skills and resources, and “webMethods' simplifies deployment. integration solutions In today’s business world, the competitive advantage goes to those who have allowed Hitachi can adapt the fastest. For sustained success, flexible processes are America to align our mandatory, enabling an organization to adjust quickly in an ever-changing operations more closely environment with those of our Why webMethods? customers. In a matter of 20 days, Hitachi Get there faster. Many vendors claim their products require less development effort, but few have reliable data to back up their America was able to arguments. We say it again: webMethods is the only vendor to report deploy webMethods publicly the number of projects that go live, a figure that now exceeds software improving the 160 projects a quarter. efficiency and Single, Role-Based User Interface. The “My webMethods” portal connectivity of our IT provides task-based, personalized monitoring and management across all systems.” webMethods Fabric products. The same role-based interface is used by IT staff to monitor systems, services, and processes, and by business Greg Hattori, users to monitor business processes and KPIs. Director, Electronic Software, not services. As a software vendor and a company that is Business Solutions, 100% focused on integration, webMethods is driven to make its products Information efficient and productive. Supplementing software sales with large Technology Group, consulting contracts is not part of the company’s core mission. Hitachi America ©2005, webMethods, Inc. 4 4. Manageability A frequently overlooked requirement is the ability to manage, monitor and optimize the system once the integration solution has been deployed. Look for a vendor that has addressed manageability as a core capability, not an afterthought. Why is this important? It follows that if your integration solution is used to build a mission- critical business process, then the integrations and the components that support those integrations are also mission-critical. Therefore, the integration components need to be managed and monitored and refined accordingly. “"webMethods Fabric The ability to manage business processes and the integration components has been central to our that support those processes is key to lowering TCO over time. The true ability to reduce the cost value of integration to your business can only be realized when it is put of transacting business into production. And, that TCO is maximized when the information is and streamlining our available to optimize these integrations. purchasing process while Businesses are looking to Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) as the also giving our suppliers best way to leverage their IT assets and to provide their organizations optimum flexibility in with the agility needed to be competitive in today’s economy. Simply conducting business. We making a collection of Web services available on the network does not now have better visibility make an SOA. In fact, the unmanaged proliferation of Web services will quickly result in a chaotic mix of systems and interfaces, which is not into our orders across unlike the situation that companies have faced with other technologies. locations, reduced errors and redundancies and Why webMethods? increased levels of Advanced SOA Infrastructure. webMethods Fabric is based on a operational efficiency.” Service-Oriented Architecture foundation and incorporates management capabilities that enable companies to realize the full potential of SOA on Arwin Teschers, an enterprise scale. Through out-of-the-box Web service management Manager, eBusiness, and registry capabilities, any integration service company can be quickly Henkel and easily turned into a manageable service, without rework, enabling faster deployment of SOA-based applications. Beyond basic monitoring. webMethods enables true business process optimization by combining BPM and BAM, allowing business processes to become smart by virtue of being pre-instrumented to report on key performance indicators. The insight gained from business activity monitoring directs the organization’s attention to where improvements can be made. Predict what’s next. webMethods Fabric includes patent-pending fingerprinting technology to predict business, service, or other exceptions based on observed events correlated with previous problems, a unique capability amongst integration vendors. 5 ©2005 webMethods, Inc. 5. Independence There are an increasing number of entrants into the integration software space, from platform vendors to niche solution vendors. The platform vendors are in the market to support broader objectives, such as selling more development software or application user seats; or to patch up shortcomings in their offerings. Niche solution vendors provide limited offerings for a certain technology area such as Web services or composite applications. Be cautious of vendors for whom integration is just a sideline. They might not be in the market for the long term. Why is this important? “webMethods is an important part of our The winner is…heterogeneity. It is a fact of corporate life that your IT environment was, is, and always shall be heterogeneous and disparate. An operations. By independent integration vendor with no allegiance to a given technology leveraging the or application system will always be your best hedge against the reality of webMethods solution, heterogeneity. we have been able to Leverage best-of-breed: An independent vendor provides you with a rapidly and reliably true best-of-breed solution for your enterprise integration. Evaluate integrate key business carefully the claims of vendors that claim best-of-breed but either locks processes, increase you into their application paradigm or into their proprietary architecture. productivity and Integration solutions from someone other than an independent operating efficiencies, integration vendor are naturally prone to a form of bias to the non- and achieve visibility independent vendor’s core application, hardware, or technology. Simply across our operations. put: how committed is that vendor to building high performance With the webMethods integrations that do not include their core product as an end-point? integration technology, Independent integration vendors are free from any parochial ties that Logitech has gained a may prevent them from supporting all critical industry standards. This is centralized and forward- critical as industry standards provide a mechanism and protocol to communicate and exchange information with your business partners and looking infrastructure customers. Support for these standards enables you to realize cost for our business process savings and a reduction on the total cost of ownership. automation requirements." Why webMethods? Greater agility. With a 100% focus on integration, webMethods is able Dan Poulin, CIO, to be more responsive to changing customer and market requirements. Logitech Track record. webMethods has an established track record. Many of the platform vendors are late to market with key integration technologies and have few customers with enterprise-wide business integration deployments. Technology independence. It is inevitable that technology will change. Being independent of a specific technology platform allows webMethods to bridge the gaps between incompatible systems as well as to bridge the divide between legacy and future technologies. webMethods has customers integrating 30-year old mainframe systems with applications based on the latest Web services standards. ©2005, webMethods, Inc. 6 6. Mature Architecture Integration software will become the critical glue between your business processes, services and the underlying applications in your environment, and the connections to your business partners. With such a central role, it is vital that the solution you choose is based on a mature and proven architecture. Why is this important? A mature architecture will manifest itself in key characteristics such as high performance, availability, and scalability that validate that the vendor’s solution is built-to-last and has been put through its paces. “We expect that by A service-oriented architecture has proven over time to be able to address new technologies readily without the need for massive shifts in building our the foundations of the integration solution. It should be noted that infrastructure strategy because the leading industry analysts support the importance of a service- around webMethods' oriented architecture, many vendors claim the SOA mantle without technology, Rich merit. Look for a vendor that has a solution built from the ground up Products will be able to with a service-oriented architecture. achieve significant A strong, mature architectural foundation addresses the enterprise’s operational efficiencies current integration needs, but is also the platform upon which future and cost savings over technologies can be easily built. A mature architecture makes a solution time. webMethods' that can bridge past, present and future possible. solutions have enabled An integration solution with a mature architecture will allow you to Rich Products to benefit absorb and unify new technologies as they evolve, while continuing to from an integrated leverage applications built on older technologies. This will shield you from the dual technology risks of obsolescence on the one hand, and the infrastructure that can bleeding-edge of technology on the other. support the future development and growth Why webMethods? of our organization and Mature foundation. The core elements of the webMethods platform improve the services we were developed more than 8 years ago. Unlike vendors who have first or provide for our second generation products – with limited production references – as customers." their centerpiece, webMethods’ solution has evolved from successive Dave Gwozdz, iterations and the experience gained from widespread deployments. Rich Products Unified platform. Some vendors have a collection of overlapping products that customers have to integrate before they can make any progress. webMethods took the strategy early on of uniting complementary, best-of-breed capabilities into a single platform. As a result, the webMethods solution is not only the most mature, but has best-in-class functionality in all the key areas. Proven architecture. The flexibility of the webMethods platform is due to the fact that it was designed with a service-oriented architecture from its inception. All of its capabilities take advantage of service-orientation making it easier to generate reusable business services from existing application functions. 7 ©2005 webMethods, Inc. 7. Completeness Look for a solution that is able to address a set of distinct technology requirements – services integration, process assembly, and business optimization. Be aware of vendors that disguise disparate and overlapping offerings as completeness. Why is this important? Service Integration – Your application infrastructure needs to be integrated in a modular way. This creates an inventory of reusable business services from existing applications. "A single, Process Assembly – Your business services must be able to be combined and re-combined quickly to improve processes or even create new ones. comprehensive solution was our vision. The Business Optimization – Your services need to be intelligent, feeding standards-based back information and collecting the necessary metrics to gauge operational performance and even predict future operational events. platform from webMethods has If an integration solution lacks completeness, you will be forced to provided us with a introduce additional tools to address your business requirements later. This limits the reusability of the integration solution, increases complexity simple and flexible in development and maintenance, and forces you to be the integrator. method for automating If an integration solution is a set of disparate and overlapping offerings, business transactions your cost to implement this solution as part of a services engagement will and a secure greatly increase your overall total cost of ownership. environment to facilitate transparent Why webMethods? communications between Best-in-class functionality. webMethods offers best-in-class Office Depot and our functionality in all the key areas from integration to process assembly to customers." business optimization. The webMethods platform is the first integration James Morris, solution to combine traditional integration, SOA and event-driven Director of processing. Some vendors only offer capabilities in niche areas such as ECommerce Web services or composite applications. Development, Integrated suite. Some vendors offer integration functionality that is Office Depot acquired technology over many years each with its own tools, administration interfaces, and so on. Recognizing that business processes aren’t constrained by boundaries, webMethods has a single integrated suite that combines the functionality in one environment and toolset. No dependencies. Some integration vendors rely heavily on other companies for critical technologies like application adapters, Web services support or other emerging technologies. While partnerships can be an asset, they are a liability when a customer has to deal with multiple providers for support and rely on the vendors to keep product versions synchronized. ©2005, webMethods, Inc. 8 8. Scalability As integration and Web services becomes a vital element of your enterprise infrastructure, look for a provider that is able to scale with your requirements and as your business grows. Why is this important? A future-proof integration solution must be able to scale as your enterprise needs grow. You should have confidence that your integration solution will not reach a point of obsolescence as the needs of the "Corporate Express has enterprise naturally evolve. The solution should provide the capacity you experienced real business require today while positioning for the demands of the future. results with webMethods Look for an integration solution that derives scalability from an Fabric. webMethods is architecture that was optimized from the start for business process helping Corporate integration. Some vendors’ solutions are based on message-oriented Express build a middleware that was designed to solve a different business problem. reusable, scalable True system scalability involves more than just the messaging layer. integration infrastructure An integration solution should provide you with flexible deployment to seamlessly integrate options that maximize performance and use of integration resources. A the interfaces between key indicator is the capability to host and distribute integration resources our existing systems, remotely and enable a geographically distributed, yet integrated and rapidly assemble enterprise. new processes to add to Why webMethods? our strategic application Scalable tools. Integration is inherently complicated, from the need to portfolio. We are handle complex data structures, exception conditions, and performance leveraging the power of requirements. Products that are designed for simple departmental webMethods business requirements are unable to scale. webMethods allows organizations to optimization to gain meet the most demanding performance requirements through a multi- real-time visibility into threaded infrastructure optimized for high message and data volume our critical processes." throughput and low transaction latency. SOA and Web Services. webMethods extends SOA beyond simple Sandy McGregor, Web services standards by incorporating features that enable the Director of Integration widespread deployment of Web services in an enterprise setting. These Architecture, Corporate include advanced registry services, security, transactionality, audit, Express Corporation monitoring capabilities and so on. The webMethods platform is designed to meet data center operational requirements, including the performance and scalability to handle enterprise-level business transaction volumes, and the reliability to ensure 24x7 availability. Distributed execution. webMethods has a unique architecture that allows the execution of a business process to be distributed across multiple servers. In practice, this provides the flexibility to deploy business process logic across the network in a way that best fits a customer’s environment. With most competing solutions, a business process is constrained to a single server process. 9 ©2005 webMethods, Inc. 9. Partner Network Look for a vendor that is supported and endorsed by the other software and consulting partners that you rely on. “We needed to integrate Why is this important? our corporate legacy A vendor’s roster of partners is an important indicator of the efficacy of systems with best-of- the vendor’s product. In particular, note the number of partners that are breed applications such using the integration vendor as part of their own product offering. This is as i2's Discovery the ultimate endorsement of confidence and trust in the integration vendor’s technology and ability. Knowledge Manager. We chose webMethods Strategic ISV partners. Look for strong partnerships between the for three reasons: first, integration vendor and leading ISVs whose applications are being integrated. Again, pay particular attention in those cases where the technology excellence, integration software is imbedded in the ISV’s product. This provides you second, it provided the assurance that the ability to integrate to the ISV’s software is well most strategic 'on-ramp' established. for the value added Strong system integrator partnerships. A healthy sign for an integration services we offer our vendor is the existence of a strong network of system integrators that customers, and, finally have developed a practice around the vendor solution and have a large the fact that number of trained personnel that can implement the vendor’s solutions webMethods software was already integrated Why webMethods? with i2's applications." The choice of enterprise software vendors. An unmatched list of enterprise software companies – including GXS, and Oracle– embed webMethods’ technology in their product offerings. Given the rigorous Brad Hudon, evaluations conducted by these companies this is a tremendous Director of IT validation. Specifically, with regards to GXS, webMethods Fabric will be Development, used to power the GXS Trading Grid, which serves over 30,000 Future Electronics customers worldwide. Best-of-breed strategy. webMethods has a strategy of focusing on integration as a core competency and partnering with the leaders in related industries to provide customers with choices for best-of-breed solutions. SI Partners: Leading system integrators such as BearingPoint, Deloitte and TCS rank webMethods as one of their premier integration vendor in terms of revenue or influence in the marketplace. Crowe Chizek, the #3 audit firm in North America, relies on webMethods as its only strategic integration partner. ©2005, webMethods, Inc. 10 10.Coherent Product Strategy and Vision A coherent product strategy is critical to gauge how the vendor will be able to provide your integration needs over the long term. Look for a vendor with a stable product portfolio, a clear product strategy and one that is not in the midst of a technological change. “"In our current Why is this important? solution we are already Look for an integration vendor that has a vision for its solution and a close to the customer to plan to realize that vision. Interoperability between solution components better understand their and historical success for assimilating new components should be buying habits so we can considered as an indicator of the vendor’s ability to reach the stated better serve them. To vision. While acquisition is a perfectly viable method for growth, acquired components must be seamlessly integrated with the vendor’s core take a step further in product offering. Otherwise, the result is a more complicated solution to this area, and to implement with higher development costs, and the prospect of future optimize business changes to consolidate functionality. processes, we needed a Be on the lookout for vendors who have had to resort to extensive solution that is prepared overhauling of their products to remain competitive. For example, the for the future; is in line emergence of Web services forced some vendors with problematic with our vision and can architectures to rewrite their products to address this important help us implement technology. As a result, customers were forced to contend with migration integrated solutions for issues and furthermore to a new, unproven product. our stores, distribution With their limited resources, smaller vendors may be challenged to centers, suppliers and deliver major product changes, provide ongoing support to their installed corporate systems. With base, and adequately support any new customers. all our stores set to Why webMethods? migrate to webMethods over the next six Evolutionary. webMethods was designed from the ground up on XML, Internet standards, and a service-oriented architecture. While other months, we'll have more vendors are trying to absorb acquisitions and establish new architectures, relevant information at webMethods has been able to build on a proven foundation. our fingertips than our Completeness of vision. webMethods’ vision is to enable customers to competition, which will leverage SOA for business integration, the assembly of composite help us save money in applications, and the optimization of the processes supported by these our supply chain and applications. webMethods has created the most “SOA-enabled” and improve service to our purpose-specific product suite on the market to achieve these goals. shoppers." webMethods’ goal is to make SOA real, make it useful, and make it productive. Peter van Kralingen, Vice President of IT, Albert Heijn.” 11 ©2005 webMethods, Inc. Conclusion Selecting a business integration solution may be one of the most important decisions your company makes. Choosing the right platform from a vendor that is committed to making that solution a success in your enterprise will result in a strategic corporate asset that will yield returns for the long term. Not only will you get a return on your integration investment, you will also see maximized returns from your entire IT portfolio. As the leading independent integration vendor, webMethods has considerable experience in helping people select an integration solution and then take that solution to production, where the true returns on investment are realized. This document was designed to capture some of that experience as you consider your options. We would be happy to speak with you directly about the specific needs of your business. If you would like to contact webMethods directly, visit our website at www.webmethods.com . 3877 Fairfax Ridge Rd Fairfax, VA 22030 USA 1-703-460-2500 www.webmethods.com ©2005, webMethods, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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