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BEA, Intel Ally to Promote WebLogic

BEA Systems Inc. Monday sealed what analysts are calling a "major" alliance with Intel Corp. to optimize its WebLogic application server for Intel's Itanium Processor Family and IA-32 platforms.

The companies said they will also pursue targeted marketing and sales activities with hardware manufacturers, independent software vendors and integrators.

"In our view, the alliance reinforces WebLogic's position as the leading enterprise-level, J2EE-compliant app server, and will help extend its reach within a more mainstream (mid-level) market for enterprise servers," Goldman Sachs & Co. Analysts Anne Meisner and Rick Sherlund said Monday.

The analysts added, "In our view, the partnership should help extend the reach of enterprise Java within the midmarket, allowing organizations to more easily and cost effectively build and deploy scaleable enterprise/e-business applications. We believe the alliance will therefore pave the way for BEA to significantly grow its installed base within Intel-based platforms, and should also help Itanium make inroads within a higher-end market for enterprise-class servers."

The alliance consists of a number of programs scheduled for this year, including certification and optimization of WebLogic for Intel-based servers -- especially those running on Windows XP and Linux -- and the establishment of a technology lab to validate and document performance and scalability of the companies' joint products. The companies also plan to jointly train and provide support materials to their direct sales and channel sales organizations, and to cooperate to develop service offerings.

"With this relationship with Intel, our goal is to extend customer demand for BEA WebLogic on Intel-based platforms for development and deployment," said Bill Coleman, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of BEA Systems. "Together with Intel, we aim to significantly accelerate the proliferation of BEA WebLogic on Intel servers, as well as applications built on BEA. The alliance is designed to give customers greater freedom of choice in production environments and our ISVs increased distribution and faster performance of their applications running on Intel-based hardware."

A number of hardware vendors have already signed on to support WebLogic optimized for IA, included BULL, Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., NCR Corp. and Unisys.

"We believe the alliance may introduce the opportunity for additional bundling relationships in which WebLogic would be preloaded on a server by other hardware vendors, and potentially by various distributors as well," Meisner and Sherlund said.