Sunday, May 2, 2010

On consolidation and pure play in the EP market

Marc Adler returned to the Blogland this week to claim, among other things that the fact that the list of pure-play event processing platform vendors is being reduced, is sad. The fact that there have been several acquisitions of "pure play" vendors recently is true, with the acquisition of Aleri by Sybase earlier this year, and the recent acquisition of RTM by Software AG. If you are interested in the genealogy, Paul Vincent is keep documenting it. I have traced some of the IBM acquisitions and realize that merges are sometimes tough from organizational culture point of view and sometimes there is a need to change direction in a not easy fashion, as shown in the picture above, so it might be sad for some individual people, but not necessarily bad from the industry point of view.

However, the fact that the pure play vendors are being acquired has another side to the coin, which means that the big or medium software vendors are buying them. This is a sign that event processing is getting to be part of the main stream of the enterprise computing, and is part of growing up of this area. This has also happened before in other areas, and was predicted several years ago by analysts to happen in the event processing area.

In fact, now most of the major players in enterprise software area : IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, TIBCO, Progress Software, Sybase and Software AG - have now an event processing platform as part of their enterprise computing offering.

This is an indication that all these vendors realize that event processing is required part of their enterprise applications, and that event processing is not really stand-alone but it is increasingly getting consumed as part of larger play, and getting to further areas and industries in addition to the early adopters of capital market trading applications.

There may still be a role for pure play event processing products, especially in various niches that are not being properly handled by the current products. Some of them may even develop event-driven enterprise computing platform, and join the medium companies, it happened before, but it is not easy.

While the bigger companies advance the projects at their own paste, the smaller companies as well as the research community sometimes have roles of catalysts to advance the area. We'll discuss the future of the event processing area in depth in the Dagstuhl seminar planned to start in 2 weeks. More about it - later.

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