Brokat Infosystems Grabs Tools with Acquisitions

SAN MATEO (06/23/2000) - By purchasing both GemStone Systems Inc. and Blaze Software Inc., Brokat Infosystems AG aims to create an integrated e-business infrastructure.

In the process, it may give GemStone's Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) application server a breath of new life.

Stuttgart, Germany-based Brokat Infosystems this week announced the acquisitions, valued at roughly US$831 million, and spelled out plans for maintaining and integrating the collective product lines.

One immediate prospect is the potential boost to GemStone's fortunes. GemStone has solid technology and enjoys a good reputation, but to date has not been able to convert those assets into a healthy market share, according to analysts.

Doug Pollack, vice president of marketing at GemStone, in Beaverton, Oregon, chalks that up to competition from bigger companies, such as IBM and BEA Systems.

"This gives us an opportunity to proliferate our technology and to more effectively compete with the bigger companies," he said.

To enhance its offerings, Brokat will add the San Jose, California-based Blaze's Advisor Solutions Suite, a rules-based infrastructure for building e-business solutions, to Brokat Twister, an e-services platform for service providers, according to company officials.

The company also will bundle GemStone's GemStone/J EJB application server, based on the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) technology, for e-commerce application development.

Twister has provided back-end and channel-integration features.

The resulting suite, however, will provide a broader blueprint for e-services, according to Stefan Roever, CEO of Brokat.

The product will include vertical applications for e-finance and mobile commerce, which are already closely related, as well as the infrastructure to integrate those applications.

"We think this type of solution is the market's next milestone," Roever said.

This combination of products positions Brokat nicely to offer an e-business platform, according to Sally Cusack, an analyst at market research company International Data Corp. (IDC), based in Framingham, Massachusetts.

"Although it may not offer bleeding-edge technology, Brokat is meeting anticipated demands of the market," she said.

Tom Kelly, chairman and CEO of Blaze, stressed that in addition to bundling them into a suite, Brokat will sell stand-alone versions of the software from both Blaze and GemStone.

Little known in the U.S. market, Brokat Infosystems, which reported 1999 sales of $46 million, has focused on e-commerce software for such markets as Internet banking.

What the mergees bring to the table

The Brokat merger unites Java server and e-business tools.

GemStone: GemStone/J server for application developmentBlaze: Advisor Solutions Suite, rules-based architecture for building e-business solutionsBrokat: Twister, an e-services platform for service providers.

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