The Market for Delivering Integration as a Service Is Taking Off in Europe, IDC Says

LONDON – JANUARY 11, 2001 – While the market for delivering integration software as a service is still in its inception, the integration software market is highly competitive, and IDC expects the number of mergers and acquisitions to increase in the near future.


IDC defines integration software as a set of technologies that enable organizations to control the quality of information by ensuring that it remains complete, consistent, and current across the entire portfolio of applications that define the operations of the business.

Primarily the ebusiness movement is fueling the rapid growth of the integration software market. Prior to ebusiness, the principal motivation for integration projects was one of internal efficiency. Now successful ebusiness mandates the implementation of complete and immediate consistency across all IT systems with which customers and partners interface – even if the level of interface is indirect. Failure to deliver completely consistent information leads to lack of trust, and ebusiness cannot function in such an environment.

"eBusiness changes everything, and one of the variables it impacts most is the acceptable degree of integration of our IT services. eBusiness exposes business processes to the outside world. Just like a person that has stayed concealed behind winter clothing for months, this is the equivalent of rushing down to the beach on the first nice day of summer and exposing those hidden parts to the outside world. Generally the experience is more positive if some preparatory work is done," said Rob Hailstone, research director for IDC's European Infrastructure Software research. In the world of ebusiness, the exposed interface may provide the only direct experience of the company to the outside world. Simply exposing basic functional processes such as sales order processing and account management will rarely provide the type of customer experience by which a company wishes to be judged.

Many companies have jumped aboard ebusiness as if it were a moving train, and without necessarily looking where it is headed. Integration technology customers wishing to put in place an integration infrastructure that will not itself become a legacy constraint will need to have an understanding of the role ebusiness is playing.

"One of the more interesting findings from our research is that while most of the marketing noise is on business process integration, most of the money is still being spent on enterprise application integration," Hailstone said. "Users have a preference to buy full solutions, and this is causing most vendors to make strategic partnerships so that they can compete in this market."

Integration software is vital to the long-term success of ebusiness. Many vendors have identified this growth area and have targeted substantial resources and significant ingenuity to the resolution of the problems caused by the lack of integration.

The market bears much similarity to the relational database market in the early days of its growth. Good ideas and competent technology are not enough to guarantee successful market penetration, or to ensure the early critical mass of users that fuels further development. Successful companies will have an aggressive marketing stance and will make intelligent use of partnering to create a broader sales front than could be justified by the single organization. IDC expects the trend to achieve critical mass through acquisition will continue.

IDC's research finds that European vendors generally adopt a more considered approach to the implementation of new business models and leading-edge technology. Whereas a U.S. organization might risk much to stake an early place in a growth market, the European is more likely to wait until someone else has made the costly mistakes.

IT Integration Strategy (IDC #LM73G) provides a qualitative analysis of the European integration software marketplace. The report provides an analysis of the types of implementation options available to user organizations, the state of maturity of technology in support of these options, and the strategies of a representative sample of the most important vendors in terms of the position they see themselves occupying within the market. This report is available to purchase from your local IDC office.

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

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

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