RealTime IT News

BEA, Oki OK New Integration

Officials at application server software play BEA Systems and Tokyo-based network hardware maker Oki Electric Industry Co. are forging a new alliance that is mixing BEA's enterprise application software with Oki's communications software.

With the integration of their products, both companies are looking for more traction in the market for supplying voice over IP products and services to businesses.

In addition to the increased revenues the deal could mean for BEA, Oki has also signed on to develop the Session Initiation Protocol module for WebLogic Server 8.1, due out next Spring, which will give its users a platform to run IP telephony, instant messaging and video teleconferencing.

As part of the expanded partnership, both companies will jointly market and sell the integrated software package to telecom carriers throughout the world. For the time being, Oki will sell its SIP software as a standalone component of the WebLogic Enterprise Platform. When development with BEA is completed, the company plans to integrate the module and WebLogic into its own CenterStage application server.

The arrangement could provide both companies added clout in the telecommunications market, positioning BEA and Oki with an encompassing software infrastructure package catering to the increasing popularity of VoIP.

BEA has a vested interest in the telecom market. Fully one-quarter of its fiscal year 2003 licensing revenues (in the neighborhood of $120 million) come from carriers like Verizon Communications , Deutsche Telekom and AT&T . It's that kind of access that could help Oki sell more VoIP equipment at a time when all major carriers are tweaking thier own networks for VoIP rollouts and extras.

With the integrated software in hand, the two companies can go to joint customers and provide a service the carrier can then resell to its enterprise customers.

"It's the first time we've brought together a whole communications system and WebLogic as an application platform together to build these new communications services," said Olivier Helleboid, BEA executive vice president of products.

Oki, with a well-established position as a telecom hardware and software manufacturer, is looking to break into the global mainstream with a more robust IP/infrastructure package. The company has already made in-roads in its software infrastructure role, signing a deal in January to integrate Vignette's document management software into its product line. The company currently holds a 60 percent ATM market share in Japan because of its back-end integration solutions.

"By integrating Oki's strength in VoIP , computer telephony integration, security and networking technologies with BEA's world-leading Web transaction system, I believe this partnership will contribute to improving customers' business efficiencies," said Toshinao Takeuchi, Oki NetBusiness Solutions Company president, said in a statement.