IBM, JD Edwards Ink Middleware Pact

NEW YORK — In what is being hailed as the largest deal in its 25-year history,
enterprise software firm J.D Edwards on Thursday
announced it would pre-integrate its flagship products with IBM’s middleware
platform.

The Denver, Colorado-based J.D Edwards, which makes software designed to
help companies manage their books and fulfill orders, said the non-exclusive
pact was focused on providing Web Services-type capabilities to its “J.D Edwards 5”
collaborative business applications.

At a breakfast briefing here, J.D Edwards CEO Bob Dutkowsky declined
comment on the financial terms of the deal, which pre-integrates the
company’s product set with IBM’s WebSphere Application
Server and Portal, Lotus collaboration tools, and DB2 database (DB2 UDB).

The deal basically allows J.D Edwards to sell a single software suite to the
enterprise market that covers all the wide spectrum of a company’s IT
plumbing.

The “J.D Edwards 5” product set includes applications for Enterprise
Resource Planning, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supply Chain
Management, Supplier Relationship Management, and Business Intelligence.

Middleware software is used to connect otherwise separate applications and
because IBM’s infrastructure runs of open standards platform, the two sides
believe the partnership opens up the door to cash in on the market,
estimated at $150 billion.

“This is the biggest technology partnership we’ve announced in 25 years. In
addition to opening the door to new revenue opportunity, this makes it
easier for our business clients to purchase, deploy and manage the software
going forward,” Dutkowsky said.

Dutkowsky conceded the IBM pre-integration would lead to a price hike for
J.D Edwards business applications. However, the sales pitch is that the
overall cost for clients looking to install and manage applications within a
single environment would be much lower.

“If they’re (business customers) buying and integrating piece parts, the
cost is exponential. Previously, a customer would have to buy these
applications separately, then spend to integrate them to work together. Now,
they can buy all the products with a single procurement and make them work
together right away,” he explained.

Because the IBM partnership is non-exclusive, J.D Edwards customers who use
Microsoft or Oracle for database
applications can continue to do so.

“The key here is that it’s an open integration. The customer will have the
choice not to use the DB2 database if they want to. It’s open. The customer
has the flexibility to run whatever competing applications they want,” said
Steve Mills, senior vice president of IBM’s Software Group. “Today’s
agreement underscores our customers’ demand for open software that will run
across a variety of computing systems — unlike other proprietary
approaches,” he added.


The pre-integration is expected to begin late this year and be fully
available by the middle of 2003

Mills said the joint package would run on all vendor technologies supported
by J.D. Edwards, including Microsoft Windows and UNIX environments from IBM,
HP , Sun Microsystems and Unisys.

Big Blue and J.D. Edwards also plan to share sales leads and jointly market
the product. The two would also team up on an Integration Center to validate
and certify various J2EE compliant hardware configurations new software.

News Around the Web