IBM attacks BEA's position with software consulting companies


News: IBM attacks BEA's position with software consulting companies

  1. One of BEA's winning strategies was its focus on winning over software consultancy companies to use BEA software in all of their projects. Now that IBM has a comparable product, a new war is being launched. One such skirmish is over Paris-based Valtech, a BEA partner in which IBM is making headway.

    In the linked article, the positions of both BEA and IBM are compared, as well as recent projections from Giga.

    Read IBM launches next rounds of attack against BEA.

    Threaded Messages (22)

  2. Val what ?[ Go to top ]

    What is Valtech ?

    I am not sure what they mean by " wooing a software consultantcy " It would be relevant if they made partnership with real Big 5 software consultancy (Accenture, PriceWaterhousecoopers, Deloitte Consulting, etc) or one of their publicly traded competitors (EDS, CA). But Valtech ?

    Maybe I should start Michael Consulting next monday, and align myself as BEA partner to attack IBM ;-). But if the trading volume is low any news matters :-)
    FUD score at 14:40 EDT:
    BEAS 9.28 -0.31
    IBM 92.84 +1.12

    Anyway, regardless of Valtech strengths, IBM does not need them. There are 1000s companies that invested millions in OS/390 or hundreds of thousands in AS/400. It is difficult to send this kind of money down the drain and only WebSphere runs on this machines. Nothing works better then vendor lock in.

  3. Val what ?[ Go to top ]

    Hey Michael,

      Valtech is actually a pretty large organization, a very visible one as well (perhaps not so much in North America).

      It is true that vendor lockin is the age-old tool, but I think this article is relevant from a trends perspective. BEA made gaining consultant support a number one priority. If IBM is adopting such an offensive strategy (tackling BEA's consultancy base), then this is definitly something to take note of, even if the example in the article is not as close to home as an accenture. :)

  4. Val what ?[ Go to top ]

    Hi Floyd
    I agree with your interpretation that it is a sign of the trend. My point was that the article uses rather small event as the marketing opportunity.
    Article has 16 paragraphs - only 4 mention Valtech :-).

    Still, I must admit, one way or another it is a sign that competition on J2EE market becomes more agressive.
  5. Val what ?[ Go to top ]


    You may not have heard of us, but BEA, IBM, Oracle, Accenture, KPMG, (the list keeps going) certainly have, and have either engaged with us (partnered) or engaged our consulting services directly...not to mention our direct client list (refer to for further information.) For example, for all of 1999 and then some, if you learned about BEA WebLogic from BEA, you probably actually learned it from Valtech under the banner of BEA. We wrote the majority of the course, and trained BEA customers in WebLogic at BEA premisis (and off) worldwide (ie. NA (delivered with Valtech staff the vast majority of all courses on behalf of BEA), Europe, Japan, South America, etc..) I know that this press release appears slanted, but we continue to have a good relationship with BEA, and have equally strong if not stronger relationships with IBM, Oracle, etc. that you are now starting to hear about.


    Matt Donovan
    Principal Consultant
    Valtech Technologies Inc.
    NY Office
  6. Val what ?[ Go to top ]

    I want to know if you do anything with JBoss.

    It seems that JBoss is winning over the smart small consultancies...
  7. JBoss[ Go to top ]


    We don't see much JBoss at all in deployed Enterprise Applications. Packaged applications are typically designed for Weblogic, with a few for Websphere (or that support Websphere in addition to Weblogic) and a small number for Oracle. In our experience, in house development for large organizations is overwhelmingly weighted to Weblogic, with some Websphere (5%?) and some Oracle (10%?). There are a few (very) large Websphere accounts that I've seen, but in my experience it is rare. I believe that JBoss is where Linux was five years ago -- people have heard of it, they are starting to hear good things about it, but there are relatively few decision makers that are willing to bet on it (yet).

    The biggest problem with Websphere is that it is still relatively unusable for development. We work with several of the latest versions of Websphere, and the frustration level is relatively high still just trying to get it to work at all. Recently, we deployed a tiny probe application to a clean Websphere and the result was that it hard-crashed and we had to totally re-install the server. We redeployed the same application binary and it worked fine the second time. That is just a sample of the frustration we've experienced.

    It does seem that if you totally buy into Websphere and get used to it, you can get your applications to work and deploy and (once working) operate in a stable manner. It is similar perhaps to the early Weblogic 5.0 version in that regard ... a big advance, but not quite working and hard to understand what's going on.


  8. Val what ?[ Go to top ]

    Weblogic was "ported" to AS/400 around 1998. Well before WebSphere was a viable product.
  9. Val what ?[ Go to top ]

    Viable for what ? Certainly not for EJBs. Websphere has started to be viable for EJBs with its Websphere 3, and is just getting 1.1 spec compliant today with the good 4.0 server and WSAD releases.
  10. how does Valtech compare against EDS?

    EDS and BEA Systems Announce Global Alliance to Streamline Delivery Of Best-in-Class E-Business Solutions
  11. When you look at the Professional Service of BEA it's fairly a small team compared to the IBM Global Services with more than 120.000 peoples on board.
    You can compare EDS/BEA against the Global Services. Both have a huge customer base and well skilled employees, I can't see any big differnce between the two.

    If IBM is able to improve the integration of the products collection labeled Websphere than ist a very thight race for market and technology leadership.

    And don't forget there is a huge base of blue companies outside.
  12. I find this all pretty funny. Everyone speaks of how IBM is catching BEA in the App-Server arena. How do we know this? Does IBM break out their Websphere numbers. If so I have never seen them. But I continue to read how BEA's customer base has expanded to over 11K clients and 3K partners,and how they are supporting the latest J2EE standards.

    If IBM thinks that they can win the App-Server war by stating we can do that too, or we'll have that soon. Good luck. They will spend that billion dollars aimed at BEA very quickly. They could spend that more wisely trying to be an innovater in the App-Server world rather than a follower. IBM wants to be the leader then they should take the lead, show the JAVA community something unique and current with newest standard releases, rather than following along.

    As a customer to hear that IBM has 120,000 people in their Professional Services Organization makes me think what is this going to cost me to implement? How many hours of P&S? They must have this many people for a reason.

    My intent was not to bash IBM, but until they show what it takes to be a leader in the APP-Server Market we can not argue that BEA is the De Facto App-Server.
  13. EXTRA EXTRA IBM is full of *%X*$[ Go to top ]

    Let's all be realistic.

    First of all take a look at the credibility of IBM over the past 5 years with respect to the Java and Application Server Market. They say many things and apparently they are number one in everything.

    They have consistently been attacking BEA. Doesn't this seem a bit odd to you? A 100 Billion dollar company attacking a 10 Billion dollar company seems a bit strange to me.

    The fact is that BEA has taken a strong position of developing software that is based on "OPEN STANDARDS" whereas IBM have been developing software the they claim is "STANDARDS BASED".....standards based on IBM standars.....hint hint.....not open. What is my point? My point is that IBM is full of hot air created by their first class marketing organization. They have earmarked 1 billion dollars to go after BEA.....that's a lot of money.

    This latest attack is designed to make one point. IBM is being adopted by the independent consultant and developer community........a community they have all but neglected over the past 5 years. The reason they are doing this is because BEA is the community favorite when it comes to rock solid application servers that "just work". IBM realizes they have lost the battle in the application server space and must find a way to catch up. They view the independent consultant (non big 5) and developer community (java developers) as a vehicle to do this.

    I would bet that you will see an attempt by IBM to "buy" this community simply so they can say they have more "XYZ" than BEA.

    Don't be stupid. The community realizes that there can only be one application server, similar to Microsofts operating system......BEA is the De Facto standard.

  14. EXTRA EXTRA IBM is full of *%X*$[ Go to top ]

    Don't be stupid. The community realizes that there can >>only be one application server, similar to Microsofts >>operating system......BEA is the De Facto standard.

    I don't think anyone believes that there can or should be only one application server in the J2EE world. I'm not sure what you mean...
  15. EXTRA EXTRA IBM is full of *%X*$[ Go to top ]

    Honestly, I understand what everyone is saying about IBM. I have worked with Weblogic and Websphere. Both of them had a lot to be desired until recently. Weblogic still requires a LOT of manual configuration to get it running properly on Win2k. I was able to get Websphere 4.0 up and running out of the installation with no additional configuration. The biggest complaint I had with Websphere before now had been the amount of manual configuration one had to do to get started with it.

    Honestly, of all the major combatants in server-side architecture, IBM has done the most to create an application server that is easy to use, configure, and administer. For an independent consultant who wants to apply the new skills he learns, this is important. I want to spend my time programming, not administrating my appserver. Also, guess whom I will recommend to my clients as easy to deploy, configure, and administer?

    Just my 2 cents.

  16. Well just to drop my point of view in here

    We're dropping BEA in our app server arena and replacing it with Oracle 9iAS (just for the Forms server, no J2EE stuff before I get flamed) and a whole in-house architecture written with Jini, using only Jolt and Tuxedo to talk to our mainframe. Why?
    1) Because BEA have allowed our account manager to leave but didn't tell any of his clients
    2) Every time we rang their training contact regarding courses, etc we got no reply.
    3) Their support center in France was of absolutely no use to us, each case we opened was eventually cloased with some esoteric message like 'This is an application level problem, this case is now closed', and when you're dealing with a COBOL OS/390 mainframe that suddenly isn't doing transaction rollbacks that's not really what you want to hear, is it?

    Sorry, rant over.

    Oh and by the way, when BEA did get some of it Professional services guys to us, we happened to mention we may use Jini, and they become suddenyl very talkative and fidgety - I wonder why? $X000 dollars per CPU Vs $0....$X000...$0 hmm

    Kind regards


  17. Calum, have you been dealing with BEA out of the UK?

  18. Yes we have been dealing with BEA out of the UK

    Now, please don't take that my rant was meant as an offence on BEA, the product we were running was Weblogic Enterprise not WLS, but an indication that a companies' decisions are not just ascribed to which vendor adopts the standards fast enough, or lets their products out of the stable first - these companies need to train their own people, who then should, through courses, etc, disseminate this new information to their customers, too rapid a change from one release or spec to the next only confuses people. We are after all only mortals

    Also, in my experience, a company will in many cases look more favourably on a vendor from whom support is obtained easily, rather than the product being 100% leading edge technology, I mean look at how many CICS COBOL mainframes are still out there.

    BEA does, by all accounts, have a fantastic product out there in WLS, we ourselves have not used it, but I believe that they are a victim of their own success, given that they don't seem to have enough people to handle the explosion of good fortune that WLS has afforded them. I have nothing against BEA, just that our experiences with them have been, hmm, clouded by circumstances.

    If IBM does want to catch up with BEA, and dare I say it pull a little bit of that plush persian rug from beneath it's feet, it doesn't necessarily have to be all about the technology.

    Being developers we are simple people, we thrive on new technology, it 'enhances our purpose' so to speak, but we are rarely the people that buy the product, nor are we rarely the person that goes to the CEO for spend approval for the product, nor are we the person that gets presented with the bill for support every year

    Just an opinion nothing more

  19. Could you tell us a bit more about your Jini architecture (or better, a lot more), please?

  20. WebSphere 4.0 - easy to install and administer???

    Isn't WebSphere 4.0 only available in single-server version? How do you know that the multiple-server version works the same?

    A single-server version maybe fine for development, but can you deploy it in production?

    Just wonder?

  21. EXTRA EXTRA IBM is full of *%X*$[ Go to top ]

    I agree Weblogic should be the de facto standard !

    I am a software engineer at a large company (192000 people), I work for the IS department where we have been developing internet applications for 5 years now. We had developed our own system for creating web applications. But last year september we jumped onto the Websphere wagon. This was the beginning of a lot of problems.... .

    It started of when installing the package, there was a little note inside that said that we had to download some patches before installing. In my eyes this is not really professional but ... .

    Websphere was installed, without security. We wanted to use Domino LDAP security, so I went on the IBM site to download the redbooks, I followed everything explainded here, but it did not seem to work. So we took a contract with IBM's Skillteam to solve the problem... . After a few weeks they weren't even able to solve the problem. So we looked at it ourselves and after some trial and error (installing -deinstalling websphere) we finally got it to work.

    Then there were these CORBA errors appearing in the websphere console, Skillteam engineers said it was a bug, but that it was nothing and that we should live with it.

    Everytime we wanted to install an application into websphere we ran into problems of different kinds, and none of these problems could be solved by the skillteam engineers. then in June Websphere crashed, it suddenly stopped working. And it was impossible to start it again. Later that week the websphere server in our HQ crashed also and even there it was not able to start it up again. Skillteam had a look at it again, the only thing they could do was install websphere again.

    We downloaded a copy of WebLogic 6.0 and just in one half day we installed it and were able to convert our Websphere applications (no standard, no matter wat they claim) to WebLogic applications (which follow the J2EE standard). We were amazed that we could get it up and running without following a course. We only had problems with the connection to our Domino LDAP, so we asked people from BEA if they could solve it. They've send a 'real' engineer and after 2 days we could use Domino LDAP from within WebLogic. WebLogic has been running ever since and we haven't had any problems until now.

    So IBM eat this ! Everyone developing Web applications consider bying BEA, it's very expensive, but we lost almost a year with the IBM crap. And I believe that BEA has some real software engineers, sorry IBM.
  22. Hi,

    Can someone let me know if Websphere can

    1. Withstand 1 million user hits in a clustered mode [i.e using IBM N/W Dispatcher or maybe proxies, or maybe multiple Web Server and App Server instances as so needed?]

    2. Can a single WAS server with Apache withstand , say upto 20-30,000 user hits [static and commited DB transactions].

    3. Is there any WEb site URL that testifies the proven performance of Websphere App Server 3.5/4.0 to this effect?

  23. Millions of hits per day[ Go to top ]

    Try It can take around a billion hits a day on IBM Websphere 4.0 . Websphere was chosen due to its better performance and stabiity