Local Startup Builds on JavaBeans

SINGAPORE (04/19/2000) - Yet another startup has sprouted in Singapore, but Beans Factory Pte. Ltd. does not consider itself a dot-com company. Instead, it is focused on developing Java-based electronic commerce applications for the Internet economy.

As its name implies, Beans Factory is focused on building software using Sun Microsystem's Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) platform. EJBs are software components which act as preconfigured pieces of code that IT staff no longer have to build from scratch. They can be as simple as an order entry form or as complicated as a virtual shopping cart that keeps track of where users have been, and maintains their privacy.

"Using component technology enables us to build products quickly," said Ng Kek Wee, chief executive officer, Beans Factory. "We use EJBs to build our products because it is popular, runs on multiple platforms, and is scalable for enterprise applications." The applications that Beans Factory builds tend to be customized e-business systems that have heavy transaction volume.

"We go for enterprises that want big, scalable applications," said Ng. "In the Internet space, you are not talking about 1,000 customers or users, you are talking about millions of very diversified customers -- individuals, groups, and corporations. It is that type of league that we position ourselves."

One of Beans Factory's key products is an e-commerce customer relationship management (CRM) system which both competes with and complements CRM companies like Broadvision and Siebel.

"The key differentiator we have is the choice of an important technology -- components," said Ng. "And we are fast, because we are small and nimble."

"We also work with and use the products of our competitors to build systems for our customers," said TK Sim, chief marketing officer, Beans Factory. "There is no point reinventing the wheel. The pie is large enough for such co-opetition to take place."

Besides developing products, the company also has a services division which provides its customers with consulting and training on component technology, while its project division actually goes on site to help build applications for its customers.

Beans Factory has been in operation since February and has offices in Singapore and Hong Kong. The company intends to officially announce its opening later this month.

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