Integration Possible Barrier to Real-Time Enterprise

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Is now the time for real time? GigaOm analyst Sameer Patel thinks social networking and customer demand for real-time interaction will cause real time to be a priority for enterprises over the next two years.


But the systems running the enterprise are far from ready for real time, and can you guess what one of the major stumbling blocks will be? Anybody?


That's right: Integration!


Patel's report is accessible only to GigaOm members, but I did find a GigaOm blog summary of the report, and, according to that post, integration with other enterprise systems will be a key stumbling block for the real-time enterprise. Other stumbling blocks include:

  • Information overload
  • Existing enterprise norms
  • Portability


OK, so you could've figured that one out on your own, but Patel believes Microsoft, IBM and other big tech vendors will enter the real-time social applications market. The GigaOm blog post notes:

Patel sees Microsoft and IBM being most likely to capitalize on their existing enterprise relationships with the upcoming release of SharePoint 2010 and subscription-based pricing for Lotus Connections, respectively.


Obviously, they'll also enjoy an edge because buying from the same vendors will most likely help companies circumvent some of the integration challenges of real time.


While the big companies have an established edge for integration and price, the smaller companies often bring the innovation. I recently found analyst Robin Bloor's top picks for IT companies to watch in 2010 on a new blog site called The Virtual Circle. The list includes Psydex, which uses "semantic algorithms to parse information feeds (millions of individual records) in real time," plus two intriguing integration companies I've written about on this blog, Pervasive Software and OpenSpan.


Bloor cites Pervasive for two reasons:

  1. He thinks it's going to be a good year for the data integration market in general, which is Pervasive's main focus; and
  2. He likes its parallel data processing engine and platform, DataRush.


OpenSpan offers a unique soluition: Desktop integration. I've interviewed founder, Francis Carden. Bloor includes OpenSpan because, "It can link together functionality from just about anything, including desktop apps (such as Excel, Word), internet capabilities (Google Apps, Zoho, whatever) and web services (which means just about any web site.)" He also writes that the company has been growing fast among large organizations and system integrators and believes 2010 could be the company's "breakout year."


My last integration tidbit this week relates to SnapLogic's new SnapStore, an online marketplace where developers can sell connectors. To help launch the store, SnapLogic is holding a SnapStore Developer Challenge. You might want to pass this along to your development team, because each "qualified entrant" -- whatever that means -- will receive an Amazon Kindle, and the overall winner will receive $5,000 and a one-hour meeting with Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm.