Vitria Technology: A Company in Transition

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 itself—looking to integration services for more of its revenues.

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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 IBM—an 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

Ticker: VITR
Exchange: NASDAQ
Employees: 850

Jomei Chang
President, CEO
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.

Dale Skeen
Chief Technology Officer, Cofounder

John Wheeler
Executive VP, Worldwide Operations

Bob Berry
VP, North American Sales

Frank Yu
VP, Engineering/Services

Martin Doettling
VP, Marketing

Scott Henry
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

Reference Checks

Sean Chou
Vice President, Technology
(312) 759-1100
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.

Yibo Dong
Integration Engineer
(408) 382-7500
Project: Optical network service provider uses Vitria to issue alerts reporting troubles.

Bud Albers
(206) 925-5000
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.

Todd Johnson
SVP, Platform Business
(408) 864-7663
Project: The Cupertino, Calif.-based information technology provider plans to use Vitria to integrate applications for Jamcracker clients.

Mary Cerv
Director, Enterprise Application Integration
(913) 624-6000
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.

Steve Smith
VP, IT Development
(303) 645-1900
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.