IBM Joins MS, Oracle in Software Linking Fray
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Following Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.'s release of business-to-business Web linking software, International Business Machines Corp. entered the fray today with a suite of products that will allow companies to build software links over the Internet.
IBM said its new products would give companies -- suppliers and buyers -- a way to connect their software applications with other companies. IBM is enabling all of its infrastructure software (middleware) with support to enable the development of Web services applications. The support spans IBM's entire middleware portfolio, including DB2, Lotus, Tivoli and WebSphere software.
In a prepared statement, Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM software group, said "Web services are emerging e-business applications that can connect and interact with one another on the Web more easily and efficiently, eliminating much of the time-consuming custom coding currently required in, for example, B2B environments. Businesses also need a comprehensive portfolio of infrastructure software to drive transactions and integration."
Already, Microsoft Corp. has entered the space with Microsoft.NET, as well as software maker Oracle Corp.
Each of the companies entering the space intend to take full or partial payments for software purchases made through third party vendors across its platform.
At the same time, The Wall Street Journal has reported that IBM's global services division has agreed with Lucent Technologies to sell and service Lucent products such as the switches and software used in phone and computer networks. Previously, IBM had hired itself out to phone companies, and other network providers, to make Lucent's telecom gear jive with their computers.
The paper reported that the two companies expect to split $300 million in revenue generated by the pact over the next two years. Ironically, IBM has similar services agreements with Lucent rivals including Cisco Systems Inc., Alcatel SA and Nortel Networks Corp.
IDC estimates the market for infrastructure software and services will approach $50 billion by 2005.