BEA still on the purchase trail

BEA Systems is eyeing off further acquisitions as uptake of its service-oriented architecture (SOA) products slowly expands in the Asia-Pacific region.In the last financial year, BEA, best known for its Tuxedo and WebLogic enterprise middleware products bought seven separate companies, including business process management specialist Fuego earlier this year.

BEA Systems is eyeing off further acquisitions as uptake of its service-oriented architecture (SOA) products slowly expands in the Asia-Pacific region.

In the last financial year, BEA, best known for its Tuxedo and WebLogic enterprise middleware products bought seven separate companies, including business process management specialist Fuego earlier this year.

While that level of activity might not be replicated, acquisitions would continue to be a key expansion tool for the company, Jeff Veis, vice president for worldwide marketing, told a press and analyst briefing in Sydney.

"I do think you will see some more acquisitions activity as we look at fleshing out our offering," he said, noting that both WebLogic and Tuxedo had been acquired rather than developed internally.

Veis didn't elaborate on any specific companies being eyed by BEA, but said they would be aligned with the company's ambitions to expand its AquaLogic service management platform.

"We're not distracted by getting into the applications business -- crawling up the stack as some companies are doing -- or moving into hosting or other SI models," he said.

Veis dismissed the idea of BEA expanded on the consulting side, although he acknowledged that non-technology planning was critical to most SOA projects. "People who don't think about the soft business issues tend to stumble."

While BEA will continue to support some enterprise open source projects, including Beehive, which was developed from BEA technology, a blended approach remained the focus for most of its enterprise customers, Veis said.

"There is no phone number for most open source projects. When you're running a bank and the system goes down, you do want that phone number."

APAC vice president Steve Au Yeung said that adoption of SOA had been particularly strong in Japan, Australia and New Zealand over the past year.

"These are the countries which will see much more aggressive implementation around SOA," he said. "The adoption of SOA has been going much faster than what we imagined six to 12 months ago."

ANZ managing director Laurence Cole said recent audience surveys at BEA road shows suggested that while around 60 percent of businesses were examining SOA, less than a third were planning an implementation in the next 12 months.

"Locally, we're seeing a huge amount of momentum," he said.

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