Brand shift: SOA Software is now Akana

As 'SOA' has moved into the background, vendor decides it no longer describes the business.

Ever since analyst extraordinaire Anne Thomas proclaimed the "death" of service oriented architecture (at least the way it was perceived and practiced) in early 2009, I had wondered where SOA Software would take its brand as the concept moved behind the scenes. (Not that SOA ever went away -- the philosophy underpins everything enterprises do these days.)

The vendor stood firm all these years behind the SOA term, even as its own business evolved from SOA governance tools to a broader set of solutions supporting open APIs, cloud integration, API security and microservices. Now, the branding is finally dropping away as well, and the company has adopted a new moniker, "Akana."

SOA Software was called "Digital Evolution" up until 2005 when it changed its name to SOA Software. Ironically, Digital Evolution would have resonated very nicely these days, since everyone is trying to get aboard the digital train.

The origins of the Akana name are not mentioned in the announcement. A quick Google and Wikipedia search reveals a bunch of locales, from a river in Japan to a villages in Cameroon, Congo, Siberia, Russia and a region in Somoa. There is also a YouTube star named Anna Akana. Perhaps SOA Software's move reflects similar realities of new types of acts made possible by the digital shift.

As Akana VP Roberto Mendrano put it in a post on the name change: "We chose the name Akana because of its open interpretation."

In a space that's constantly evolving and disrupting everything that has gone before it, open is a good thing to be.