Software AG sharpens focus with crossvision

Gartner says the company's new integration product heralds growth prospects for Software AG.

Software AG's crossvision integration suite is a positive step toward the company's search for a new growth cycle, notes research company Gartner.

With crossvision, Germany-based Software AG can now articulate a vision aligned with industry trends, according to a Gartner report released in March this year.

Globally, Software AG has seen its revenues from crossvision grow 25 to 30 percent last year, according to Totev. The product made its Asian debut this week.

The software suite provides workflow, service orchestration enabled by an enterprise service bus and business process execution language, an Ajax-based composite application development tool, mainframe integration, common deployment and management, and an Eclipse-based integrated development environment.

Essentially, crossvision allows businesses to tie various components of a service-oriented architecture (SOA) from multiple vendors in a heterogeneous IT environment.

Ivo Totev, vice president of product marketing at Software AG, told ZDNet Asia that SOA infrastructure providers such as IBM, Oracle and Microsoft, often require customers to stick the vendors' products across the entire stack. This is a heavy investment for many companies, he said.

"We feel that companies in Asia are hesitant to make such big decisions that take two to three years to implement," Totev added. "People are interested in something that's lightweight and gets the job done."

Other than gelling disparate systems, crossvision also allows companies to migrate their mainframe systems to a SOA. The integration software can turn mainframe "spaghetti code"--lines of sources codes--and data into Web services, Totev said.

crossvision is also focused on verticals markets, targeting specific industries that are the biggest users of mainframe systems, such as the financial, insurance and government sectors.

However, despite its promises, challenges lie ahead for crossvision, according to Gartner. "Software AG's main challenge will now be to execute on its sales and marketing strategy," the research company noted.

"The company must define a compelling and differentiated value proposition in a market overcrowded by would-be SOA leaders, articulate a vertical-industry strategy and attract broad support from independent software vendors and systems integrators.

"Software AG must prove, through real-life deployments that crossvision is seamlessly integrated, and can deliver superior value in terms of faster development and cheaper maintenance of complex, business-critical projects."

So far, Software AG has made inroads with crossvision in six countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Totev said. The company counts Japanese automaker Nissan as one of its customers. "Nissan is turning its mainframe systems into Web services, and they've also built a lot of B2B (business-to-business) services with our SOA middleware," he said.

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