Vitria Technology: A Company in TransitionBy Matthew Rothenberg Print
Dossier: Vitria made its mark selling integration software to high-flying telecom companies, but that industry focus came back to haunt it.
Vitria made its mark selling integration software to high-flying telecom companies, but that industry focus came back to haunt it. As telecom returned to earth, Vitria had to refashion itselflooking to integration services for more of its revenues.
Even so, the company, which was founded by two Tibco veterans, has customers who swear by it. "This is the second generation" of EAI software, says Bud Albers, chief technology officer of Getty Images, a photo-archive distributor that's using Vitria software for a Web-to-Oracle Financials link."You take everything you did wrong at Tibco and do it right."
And Yibo Dong, integration engineer for Sigma Networks, an optical-network service provider, describes how Vitria helped him connect back-end systems to his Web site. Specifically, Sigma needed a system that would alert support staff whenever users reported problems. Vitria was selected because it supports the communications software Sigma was using, from MetaSolv. "We were trying to assemble a puzzle, and Tibco couldn't connect to MetaSolv at the time," he says.
The customer testimonials aside, Vitria has some significant challenges ahead of it. One is the acquisition of head-on competitor CrossWorlds by IBMan acquisition that stands to intensify the competition for the business-process automation software that has been a mainstay of Vitria's business.
And there are questions about Vitria's ability to innovate in other product areas. The $32 million that the company spent on R&D in the first nine months of 2001 was less than half the money Tibco was spending on R&D at the time. Christy Bass, a managing partner in Accenture's global EAI practice, says others, including Tibco, are clearly ahead when it comes to developing integration software for Java, EDI and XML.
Vitria recently moved to address this deficiency by acquiring XML Solutions, a developer of EDI-to-XML solutions. For Vitria, the acquisition will present an integration challenge of another kind.
Vitria Technology, 945 Stewart Drive, Sunnyvale, CA 94085
(408) 212-2700 www.vitria.com/products
Chang was previously an executive at Teknekron Software Systems (now Tibco) from 1986 to 1994; she also worked at Sun Microsystems. Chang holds a B.S. from National ChiaoTung University, Taiwan, and a Ph.D. from Purdue University.
Chief Technology Officer, Cofounder
Executive VP, Worldwide Operations
VP, North American Sales
Chief Quality Officer
Among its offerings is an integration server that includes layers for enterprise application integration, business-process management, B2B integration and real-time analysis (Vitria BusinessWare).
IBM, New Era of Networks, Mercator, SeeBeyond, Iona, Tibco, WebMethods
Vice President, Technology
Project: Chicago developer of procurement software for temporary labor uses Vitria's BusinessWare software to integrate its labor management system with a PeopleSoft payment system.
Project: Optical network service provider uses Vitria to issue alerts reporting troubles.
Project: Efforts involve integrating technology from 25 companies acquired by the Seattle-based company over the past five years. Applications include connecting the company's Web site with back-office functions, such as order entry.
SVP, Platform Business
Project: The Cupertino, Calif.-based information technology provider plans to use Vitria to integrate applications for Jamcracker clients.
Director, Enterprise Application Integration
Project: Starting in March 1999, Sprint has used Vitria technology to tackle tasks from order-handling to supply chain management to real estate, a production process that involves 22 of the company's applications.
VP, IT Development
Project: A Web hosting company based in Englewood, Colo., Verio will use Vitria as the backbone for a system that passes data among its financial, product and other divisions.
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