Cast Iron Gets Specific

Cast Iron Systems took its first steps into more application-specific markets for its
integration hardware with the announcement of a version of the company’s integration appliance has been designed specifically for Salesforce.com users.

The decision to target fast-growing salesforce.com, the leading
proponent
of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) movement, fits well with
Cast Iron’s new pricing model.

The company’s
hardware
typically sells for more than $100,000, but it’s offering the
salesforce.com unit on a lease basis, starting at $3,000 per month or higher, depending on the configuration. Cast Iron said it plans to expand to other specific application areas as well.

“We like the subscription model and Salesforce customers are used to
paying by the drip,” Simon Peel, vice president of marketing at Cast Iron, told internetnews.com.
“Our advantage has always been that the knowledge is in the box. For
Salesforce customers there’s no coding or a complicated set of tools, just
simple point-and-click menus to get at their back end system, whether
that’s Oracle, SAP or Lawson. We also let them synchronize that data in
either direction in and out of Salesforce.”

In addition to those just mentioned, Cast Iron supports other major
enterprise applications and endpoints including JD Edwards, PeopleSoft,
Sybase, MS-SQL Server, Informix, DB2, flat-files (FTP/HTTP), XML and Web
services.

All three of Cast Iron’s appliances, the iA2500-SF, iA3000-SF and
iA3000HA-SF, are available as AppExchange-certified appliances
(distinguished by the “SF” designation). AppExchange is a marketplace of
on-demand applications built for Salesforce.com and run by the company.
salesforce.com supported Cast Iron in the development of the iA3000-SF and
has deployed the product for its own IT integration initiatives.

“Application and data integration are essential if companies are to take
full advantage of the on-demand Business Web,” said Cindy Warner, senior VP
of global integration services, salesforce.com. “Our partnership with Cast
Iron Systems ensures companies complete these integrations in a matter of
days without writing code and begin reaping the rewards of an on-demand
enterprise faster than ever before.”

Cast Iron is also adding another wrinkle with the salesforce.com release;
free implementation.

“We make this outrageous claim that you can integrate to Oracle and
others in less than a week, so we thought we ought to be able to prove it on
our dime,” said Peel. “Our guys will come to your facility, ask what data
you want to move, what rules you want to implement and we’ll walk you
through the point-and-click implementation.”

Frank Kenney, research director at Gartner, said integration appliances
like Cast Iron’s are less expensive than full-blown integration suites and
have other advantages.

“Appliances are able to support very high throughput and are often
neutral with respect to operating system, middleware and application
server,” said Kenney.

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