CEBIT - Software AG plans SOA alliance

Software AG hopes to create a European software alliance of smaller companies targeting the SOA market.

German business application vendor Software AG hopes to create an alliance of small European software vendors targeting the market for SOA (service-oriented architecture) applications and services.

"By bundling resources, many smaller software companies will be able to compete more effectively in this new SOA market," Karl-Heinz Streibich, CEO of Software AG, said Thursday during a news conference at the Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany.

Streibich wants to establish a network of "niche" software companies that can share technical and marketing resources, and more. "What we're talking about is co-opetition," he said. "None of us can do it all alone but together we can develop competitive SOA offerings."

Streibich likened his SOA alliance to the Star Alliance in the airline industry, which helps carriers compete on a global scale.

Analysts agree that company size and depth of expertise will be crucial to establishing a position in the SOA market.

"The SOA market is wide open but IBM, Oracle and SAP will be big competitors," said Gartner analyst Massimo Pezzini.

Software AG already has experience in collaborating with partners through its CentraSite Community. The community is focused on bringing together the individual SOA skills of partners in areas such as security and business intelligence.

CentraSite is a registry and repository system that keeps track of SOA artifacts, including Web services. CentraSite was developed jointly by Software AG and Fujitsu.

At Cebit, Software AG announced new CentraSite Community members, including Novell and Alfabet.

Software AG will collaborate with Alfabet in developing a new application for SOA planning and governance.

At Cebit, Software AG also demonstrated a new service, SOA Value Assessment, which is designed to help companies identify areas in which SOA can deliver business benefits.

The company is also showing its Active Governance Framework (AGF), announced in February, which features a policy editor for SOA.

With AGF, developers can edit and enforce business and technical policies.

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