Enterprise application integration services pave the way for eBusiness, according to IDC

AMSTERDAM — According to IDC, the demand for integration services is increasing as companies are beefing up their ecommerce, supply chain, and customer relationship management strategies. Companies now need to integrate enterprise resource management (ERM) applications with a legacy system as well as with these newer types of applications. In addition, integration services are driven by the need for integration with third parties' own systems, whether suppliers or customers, for B2B purposes.

Although ERM applications have been widely implemented, most organizations still have legacy and custom applications that have not been replaced by ERM. As the ERM market is maturing, skills to help organizations integrate these solutions with the ERM backbone are in growing demand.

"Integration has become a critical issue for enterprises," said Dominique Raviart, analyst for IDC's European Application Strategies Services program.

"Integration enables companies to play in the ebusiness field by allowing them to enjoy the benefits of streamlined business processes. However, integration is not only about cost saving, clearly integration gives businesses a competitive advantage, as demonstrated by the example of the parcel tracking system available over the Web to FedEx customers. Integration is really about ebusiness and integration services are the services required to achieve integration in the enterprise."

The emergence of new integration solutions, whether they are called middleware or enterprise application integration (EAI) software, has given birth to a high number of smaller players, which are reshaping the industry and even more raising end-user awareness on integration requirements.

Although a number of integration software vendors claim implementation of their solution is quick, integration requires a lot of services. Integration is not only about rolling out a piece of software, it is also about redefining business processes and about data mapping or ensuring data integration. "Consequently, integration services require business process experience and industry knowledge as well as technical skills and past experience in dealing with enterprise applications such as ERM systems," Raviart concluded.

Enterprise Application Integration Services Pave the Way for eBusiness (IDC #RA06G) examines the services required to integrate not only enterprise applications together but also all integration services for B2B in Western Europe. This report includes an end-user perspective of the drivers and inhibitors of integration services as well as a study of this market by country and vertical market. In addition, the study includes an analysis of winning attributes for providers of integration services as well as profiles of 10 market players. The report also focuses on the integration strategies of seven system integration and consultancy firms. This report is available to purchase from your local IDC office.

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide.

IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at http://www.idc.com.

IDC is a division of IDG , the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.