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  1. Technology
August 24, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

In a world where all of the biggest companies are running their businesses the SAP, PeopleSoft or Baan way, how can these companies gain competitive advantages through their business processes when these very same processes are handed down to each and to every one of a company’s competitors by the ERP vendors? Perhaps it is the ability to integrate these very application resources themselves which will provide new opportunities for competition. It’s certainly not something the ERP vendors themselves are going to provide. However application integration is still one of the industry’s wild west territories where anyone, ISV or users, can still stake a claim and get rich – or perhaps lose everything trying. Perhaps that’s why some the world’s biggest gamblers, Wall Street’s financial houses, are spending heavily to integrate their data and programs. Until recently there have been few measures of how far this market has developed, but according to Meta Group research all of the world’s top 2000 corporations have at least 49 enterprise-level applications, and are spending between one quarter and one third of their IT budgets trying to get them talking to and working with one another. Still, it observes, no [application integration] tool has greater than 10% market share. Moreover it thinks few of its clients will actually buy application integration products this year because they are expensive ($250,000 and up) and require substantial implementation services. Nevertheless it thinks building integration between enterprise resource management and planning applications is crucial for those companies making heavy investments in these kinds of programs. It’s less important for others.


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