IT decision makers utilizing our IT Directory for resources (i.e. white papers, case studies, and Webcasts) about all things “Web services” are more likely to download content from startups than from incumbent software vendors. White papers from Layer 7 technologies are 17 times more likely to be downloaded than the average, while resources from DataPower technologies are about 9 times as likely. IBM is the only major vendor to exceed the average conversion rate (download/title) with papers twice as likely to be downloaded as those from Sun, BEA Systems, Microsoft, and Oracle in the Web services topic (see chart).
We used our BT Trax tool to look at which vendors got the most attention for these associated topics in aggregate over the last 12 months: ebXML, Service-oriented architecture (SOA), SOAP, UML, Web services, and XML. We found that some of the greater interest the start-ups are enjoying was not organic, but a result of sponsored directory placement. Layer 7, for example, saw a huge increase in downloads last October for this title, Securing XML Web Services: SSL, XML Firewalling, and Beyond. But the vendor has significantly less resources than well-established vendors, so the high number of downloads for Layer 7 gives each of its titles a higher conversion rate than for individual papers from the competition. One reason for the interest may be Layer 7’s focus on security challenges, which has always been a central issue to deploying Web services, next to standards interoperability. DataPower also addresses security with a focus on XML standards.
Do these findings suggest that IT pros researching Web services security find that fast moving start-ups have a better grasp than the big guys in the room?