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.

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