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Ethink on Sybase's Entrance to EII Market with Avaki Purchase

  Industry Statistics published in DM Direct Special Report
May 24, 2005 Issue
 
  By JP Morgenthal

Editor's note: You may have seen the news headline of May 9, 2005: Sybase Expands Unwired Enterprise Solutions Portfolio with Data Services Acquisition. Sybase, Inc. announced continued investment in its information management technology portfolio with the acquisition of the technology and assets of Avaki Corporation.

Those that believe that enterprise information integration (EII) is another passing fad or a niche technology, just received another blow this week with the acquisition of Avaki by Sybase. Avaki's offering, while originally focused on grid computing, became one of the leading products for defining the data abstraction layer and aggregating data from a wide variety of sources on demand.

Infostructure Associates President, Wayne Kernochan, commented, "I'd like to know if Sybase understands what they've bought?  Sybase's past acquisitions have demonstrated their ability to identify value in other companies, but they have not always done a great job of leveraging that value."

At last year's Sybase TechWave in August, Sybase committed to delivering EII over the next year and stated that they believe EII is a major strategic initiative for the company.  This makes two leading data management and integration companies, Sybase and IBM, stating strong affinity for EII as having strategic value.

While these acquisitions are important because they signal a rise in recognition of EII as a missing component of an overall integration strategy, they also demonstrate that customers are requesting tools and solutions that help them better leverage their data assets.  As for this particular acquisition by Sybase, it seems to indicate that Sybase believes that time is of the essence for gaining entry to this market.  If this is their belief, they would be correct given the IBM's recent acquisition of Ascential and Composite Software's recent OEM relationship with Informatica.  Additionally, we will probably see a rise in attention being paid to this market by the integration vendors, such as webMethods and other data management vendors, such as Ipedo.

Much like the early days of enterprise application integration (EAI), we are seeing vendors from varying disciplines swarming to fresh food.  This is because all integration technologies are really crossroads of many disciplines. EII is no different in this regard. In EII we see meta data management, data management, data cleansing, taxonomy and ontology modeling, application messaging, data caching, adapters and APIs.  However, in contrast to EAI, the requirements to satisfy a holistic EII offering if far more daunting than a holistic EAI offering due to the introduction of very large-scale components.  Hence, we will probably see more acquisitions in this space in the not too distant future and more partnerships between companies with highly focused data management tools.

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For more information on related topics visit the following related portals...
Business Intelligence (BI) and Enterprise Information Integration (EII).

JP Morgenthal is managing partner for Avorcor, an IT consultancy that focuses on integration and legacy modernization. He is also author of Enterprise Information Integration: A Pragmatic Approach. Questions or comments regarding this article can be directed to JP via e-mail at morgenthaljp@avorcor.com. Do you have and idea for a future Enterprise Architecture column? Send it to JP; and if it is used, you will win a free copy of his book.



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