WebMethods: Building on B2B

By Matthew Rothenberg  |  Posted 2002-02-04 Print this article Print

Dossier: The integration pioneer has grown beyond its Internet roots to connect legacy systems within major corporate sites.

As its name suggests, WebMethods was born in the days when enthusiasm about the Net was rising. And the six-year-old company spent the late 1990s developing software to connect Internet applications. But it has now diversified by adding software that links legacy systems to other legacy systems—as well as to the Internet. And that redefinition has helped WebMethods weather a difficult economy; it has been advising Wall Street to expect higher growth.

PDF Download One thing that's helping is the relative breadth of WebMethods' customer base. Companies as diverse as Motorola, Coors and Bank of America all use WebMethods' software. What's more, customers that start out integrating a few applications often add more.

An example is AEP Retail Energy. AEP was already using WebMethods' software on its wholesale trading floor when it needed to connect a back-office billing system to a customer support center run on Siebel software. "We decided to go the

safest route with a company we'd already worked with in the past," says AEP IT manager David Standley.

The Starbucks coffee chain also has continued to deepen its relationship with WebMethods. "Basically, every major system we implement uses WebMethods as the cornerstone for integration," says Alex MacKnight, Starbucks' manager of enterprise architecture. "It includes all our large systems and retail initiatives, and extends to our international partners."

WebMethods, which relies heavily on systems integrators like EDS and KPMG to implement its software, hasn't gotten away from its Internet roots entirely. It has positioned itself as a leader in XML integration. That may allow WebMethods to be a leader in offering Web services—a new area that holds great promise for reducing companies' operating expenses (for a Web services primer, see the October Baseline).

WebMethods, 3930 Pender Drive, 4th floor, Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 460-2500 www.webmethods.com

Ticker: WEBM
Exchange: NASDAQ
Employees: 927

Phillip Merrick
Chairman, CEO and Cofounder
Merrick founded WebMethods in 1996 with Caren DeWitt and Charles Allen. He was previously VP of engineering at Open Software Associates and development director at Magna Software. He holds a B.S. in computer science from the University of Melbourne in Australia.

David Mitchell
President, COO

Jim Green
Chief Technology Officer, EVP, Product Development

Scott Opitz
VP, Strategic Planning

Kristin Weller
VP, Product Development

Deborah Rosen
VP, Business Development

Chris Barbin
VP, Professional Services

Garland Hall
VP, Customer Care

WebMethods Integration Platform is designed to link enterprise and legacy applications, databases and workflows, as well as offer business-process management capabilities. Its Global Business Visibility Workbench allows nonprogrammers to model and analyze business processes.

IBM, Mercator, SeeBeyond, Iona, Vitria, Tibco Software

Reference Checks

Corporate Express
Sandy McGregor
Director, EAI
(303) 664-2000
Project: The office supplies subsidiary of Buhrmann has deployed both WebMethods' EAI and B2B tool kits to pass data to partners and customers.

AEP Retail Energy
David Standley
Manager, Information Technology
Project: AEP implemented WebMethods as the middleware between a back-office billing system in Tulsa, Okla., and a phone center in Miami for a new retail spin-off.

Alex MacKnight
Manager, Enterprise Architecture
Michael Marshal
Lead, Application Architecture
(206) 447-7950
Project: Integration of major systems, including HR, logistics and manufacturing, under WebMethods' umbrella.

John Sykes
Program Analyst
(919) 541-2953
Project: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's office of research and development uses WebMethods to integrate its project-tracking and financial management systems.

Lisa Hamblet
VP of B2B E-commerce, Contract Division
(508) 253-8468
Project: Starting at the end of 1999, Staples adopted WebMethods as the technology to integrate about 20 applications allowing midsize to large clients to procure office supplies electronically.

Cisco Systems
Brad Boston
Senior VP, CIO
(408) 526-4000
Project: Cisco chose WebMethods middleware as the vehicle for exchanging inventory- and product- request information with AT&T and customers' Ariba procurement systems.

Online News Editor
Matthew has been associated with Ziff Davis' news efforts for more than a decade, including an eight-year run with the print and online versions of MacWEEK. He also helped run the news and opinion operations at ZDNet and CNet. Matthew holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego.


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