SOA Vendor Mergers on Horizon (Again)

Loraine Lawson

It's a weekday, so it must be time for more SOA vendor mergers.


Surely I'm not the only one who thinks it's a bit stale to predict mergers and buy-outs in the SOA space. In fact, here's a fun bit of trivia for you: This blog's name, "Mergers and Integrations," is a play on the term "mergers and acquisitions," because there's always some sort of provider merger or acquisition afoot in the integration and SOA space. Clever, right?


So, I was feeling a bit underwhelmed and -- dare I say it? -- jaded when I read a Tekrati summary of a recent Butler Group report predicting more vendor consolidation.


I mean, it's only been April since ZDNet published a piece outlining the long list of recent mergers and planned acquisitions. I guess the real news is, despite the vendor consolidations of the past year, the consolidation will actually soon accelerate.


Why? Because the demand for SOA is so high, companies will be hard pressed to meet the demand without a critical mass share of the market. So sayeth the Butler Group. Although, every time I read that, I mentally insert "profitably" between "hard pressed to" and "meet the demand."


There are other factors at play, too. For example, everybody's playing the same game right now. It's called, "Provide a complete SOA suite for the big companies." The Butler Group predicts that within 2-3 years, large organizations will reach a saturation point, forcing some vendors to sell SOA to mid-sized and small companies. (Heads up, small and mid-sized companies! Consider yourself forewarned!)


The problem is, these smaller companies spend less per company, so vendors will be forced to focus on high-volume sales. And that's a harder profit game to play.


You might want to check out the full summary for yourself, since it includes recommendations for which vendors are best based on your adoption goals. Or you can just read Computer Business Review's article covering the Butler Group Report, since it focuses on the report's evaluation of the 13 leading SOA vendors.


My question isn't whether vendors will buy out smaller firms and consolidate. My question is, "What does this mean for companies investing in SOA now?" So far, I haven't found anything that really addresses that issue.


I guess I'll just have to track down an analyst from the Butler Group or some other research group and ask them myself.


While I'm at it, I'd be glad to ask a related question on your behalf -- as long as it's not too specific to your situation -- so feel free to post or e-mail your questions about SOA vendor mergers.

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