Date: 08 01 2002
EAI Market-EAI solutions
Some big Corporations are running their businesses using Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) packages from SAP, Baan, PeopleSoft and others. The Ability to integrate these ERP packages with other enterprise applications and extend their functionality to the web will provide these companies with new opportunities to compete.
Thus, companies are investing heavily in Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) solutions, recognizing that they must make their different applications work together in order to optimize their business processes and rapidly change them in response to dynamic business conditions.
For sound statistics about this market see: Gartner Group and Dataquest now merged.
The promise of the majority of the emerging EAI vendors has been "plug and play" or "off-the-shelf" application integration between back-office ERP applications such as SAP, Baan and PeopleSoft and front-office packages for customer service, support, sales force and marketing automation such as Vantive, Siebel Systems and others.
Unfortunately, to date the promise of application integration without application development or "coding" has been very compelling but hardly the reality. Most customers, analysts and even the EAI vendors concede that enterprise application integration is too diverse and complex today and true "off-the-shelf" integration solutions are still a few years away from commercial viability.
To leverage the trillions of dollars of investments in existing IT infrastructures, it is our belief that custom application development and integration is still one of the key options for businesses to build differentiating, competitive functionality on top of their existing or new packaged or custom enterprise applications.
In fact, a recent survey of 200 IT executives made by Information Week, show that 90% of the respondents viewed custom application development as very strategic to their business and 80% of IT shops doing custom development say the driving motivation is to gain an advantage over competitors. The same survey revealed that the most common packaged applications on which IT shops perform custom development are Financial, Data Warehouse, Customer Management, Human Resources and E-Commerce applications.
Another significant driving force for application development and integration is the fanatic rate of adoption of E-commerce and web-enabled applications by enterprises of all sizes and in all industries. There are literally thousands of new web-based or E-commerce applications up everyday and there is an ever-increasing need to integrate these new web-based applications with existing