webMethods Rebrands with Web Services

By Allen Bernard

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With its Monday purchase announcements of three companies and a new corporate direction, webMethods has made public its intentions to change with the times and nothing is more indicative of the times than its new tag-line: "the industry's first Web services infrastructure company."

Changed in its Monday press releases from "the leading provider of integration software enabling Global Business Visibility" customers can expect to hear this new opener from now on, said Scott Opitz, webMethods' senior vice president.

"If somebody says, 'What kind of company are you?' I'm not going to say 'Global Business Visibility,' I'm going to say 'I'm a Web services infrastructure company,'" he said. "We did it because our business just got a lot broader. Before this, our market was limited to customers who would be buying our webMethods integration platform to integrate together whatever legacy system or package of applications they had."

While traditional integration is still a $200 million business for the company, Web services and the service-orientated architectures (SOA) they support are the future of integration and deployment, he said. To capitalize on these emerging standards, webMethods decided to align itself and its new "Fabric" product offerings very closely with Web services.

Even though Web services is still in its infancy as a B2B tool set, Opitz said all of its major customers are moving towards SOAs so webMethods must change as well or be left behind.

"Where we're going is really directed at 'I want to have a solution that allows (customers) to do the integration today any way they want'," he said. "We don't do these things lightly so you can assume we've talked to a heck of a lot of customers and the reality is they've told us very clearly that if a company wants to have a long-term relationship with them, this is where they're going."