BEA, Siebel expand integration partnership

BEA Systems Inc. said an upcoming version of its WebLogic Integration product will work "out of the box" with Siebel Systems Inc.'s Universal Application Network (UAN) technology, which aims to reduce the cost and complexity of tying together different types of business applications.

The companies also will work together to develop and sell their respective products, with plans to spend US$1 million on joint marketing efforts, according to a statement. Monday's announcement builds on a partnership discussed between the companies in October and mirrors similar deals over UAN that Siebel has struck with IBM Corp., SeeBeyond Technology Corp., webMethods Inc., Tibco Software Inc. and others.

UAN aims to make it easier for Siebel's customers to link its CRM software with applications they have built in-house or acquired from other vendors. It includes pre-integrated Siebel applications that are used as part of certain "business processes," as well as connectors for linking those applications to software from third parties such as SAP AG.

The strategy also calls for Siebel to partner with integration server vendors like BEA and IBM. As such, version 8.1 of BEA's WebLogic Integration server software, planned for release by late July, will come with built-in support for UAN, said Morris Beton, a BEA senior vice president.

"What that means is, when the customer gets WebLogic Integration they'll have all the hooks they need, the configuration set-up they need to exploit UAN out of the box," he said. The UAN capability will be available from BEA at no extra charge, he said.

As an example, Beton pointed to the applications a company might use between the time a sales representative sells a product to when a customer deposits payment in the bank, including applications for order entry, inventory, billing and accounts receivable.

"If you want to build a new application that integrates this functionality, so the sales force can look and know what's happening with their money, so they can see that they have the inventory, that the receivables are in, the majority of work in building that new application and setting up the business processes is in integrating all those (separate applications)," Beton said.

"Companies get bogged down writing the infrastructure and putting in all that plumbing," he said. "All of those connections, all of the WebLogic Integration services, are now out of the box with Siebel. They can be invoked and consumed by UAN; UAN uses the application integration services of WebLogic Integration to accomplish the business process integration."

Separately Monday, BEA announced a partnership with Blue Titan Software Inc. that it said could make portals and other types of applications built using BEA's Liquid Data technology more secure and reliable.

Liquid Data is a technology for collecting and aggregating data from various systems and presenting it for use through a portal or other type of business application. Blue Titan's Network Director product helps IS staff to manage and enforce policies in distributed computing environments in a "service oriented architecture."

Customers using the products together will be able to enforce service level agreements for their distributed applications, more closely control access to enterprise systems and monitor performance and usage across systems, the companies said.

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