1. What are you announcing today? A. IBM is acquiring Webify Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of industry-specific SOA software and services. Webify is a privately-held company, formed in 2002. The company is headquartered in Austin, TX, with a development lab in Mumbai, India. Webify has approximately 120 employees.
2. When did IBM close this deal?A. This deal closed on August 1, 2006.
3. What was the purchase price?A. We are not disclosing the purchase price.
4. Why did IBM acquire Webify? A. IBM has acquired Webify for its market leading industry-focused SOA software and services. Webify can accelerate the delivery of SOA composite business applications based on pre-built, customizable SOA assets, semantic models and policies. IBM Software Group and IBM Global Services will use Webify’s capabilities to enable clients to more quickly and flexibly create SOA applications that can be composed primarily from existing assets. Webify complements and extends IBM’s SOA software portfolio, including WebSphere Integration Developer, WebSphere Process Server, and the WebSphere Service Registry and Repository. Webify has received significant industry recognition, most recently receiving two prestigious awards from ACORD, the Global Standards Association for the Insurance Industry.
5. What are the customer requirements that drove this acquisition?A. Clients want the ability to reuse existing assets in flexible SOA applications that can be built and changed quickly. Clients also require SOA applications that are focused on their specific industries. SOA is about reuse, and Webify takes reuse to the next level by putting it in an industry-specific context. Applications built using SOA principles and Webify technology can be assembled, deployed and changed with significantly less time and resources than traditional applications. Customers have asked us to provide the linkage from SOA to their specific industries, and the acquisition of Webify is the continuation of a significant commitment by IBM in that direction.
6. How does this acquisition allow IBM Software and Services to jointly serve clients?A. This is a unique acquisition for IBM – not just software, not just services, but both. Webify allows IBM to serve clients better by pooling the SOA-related efforts of several groups - Software Group, Global Business Services, Global Technology Services, and the Global Business Solution Center.
IBM Software Group will gain the Webify middleware technology, which extends IBM’s existing SOA Foundation and complements IBM’s SOA Lifecycle and Industry Solutions. IBM Global Services will gain Webify’s existing portfolio of SOA composite business services, as well as its methodology for creating new composite business services. Within IGS, Global Business Services (GBS) intends to provide service engagements based on existing Webify industry content and newly developed industry content. IBM’s recently announced Global Business Solution Center (GBSC) intends to create new composite business services. Global Technology Services (GTS) plans to host and provision existing and newly developed composite business services.
7. What industries are currently covered by Webify?A. Most of Webify’s current customers are in the Insurance and Healthcare industries. Development is currently underway for SOA composite business services in Banking, Telecom, and Public Sector. IBM plans to extend this development across a wide variety of industries. The Global Business Solution Center in India will have the lead role in the development of new SOA composite business services.
8. What is the Global Business Solution Center?A. The Global Business Solution Center in India, which was announced in March 2006, has the primary role within IBM for developing new SOA solution assets, such as the composite business services that are enabled by Webify middleware.
9. What do Webify products do?A. Webify provides middleware tools and runtimes for assembling and deploying industry-specific SOA composite applications. The software includes a wide variety of industry-specific content, including the ability to perform semantic mediation. This semantic mediation capability can significantly speed up the process of providing solutions for industry standards such as ACORD, HIPAA, SWIFT, IAA, HL7, XBRL, FIXML and eTOM, to name just a few. Webify’s industry content also includes business process models, product catalogs (insurance industry products, for example), industry message sets, pre-built Web services assertions, interfaces to third party industry services, and pre-built interoperability with the IBM adaptor portfolio.
10. Why did IBM buy Webify instead of one of its competitors?A. Webify is recognized as having the industry-leading SOA software and services focused on vertical markets.
11. How does the Webify technology extend the IBM SOA development and runtime capabilities? A. Webify extends and complements IBM’s existing SOA Foundation by adding an industry-specific layer that supports semantic mediation. The semantic and industry standards supported by Webify are those that are important to our clients in those industries. Current industry support is for Insurance and Healthcare, with Banking, Telecom and Public Sector in development. Support will be broadened to cover numerous additional industries. Current semantic and industry standards that are supported include ACORD, HIPAA, SWIFT, WS-I, IAA, HL7, XBRL, FIXML and eTOM.
Semantic mediation increases the industry awareness and focus of SOA composite applications. Webify allows for the concept of business context to be dynamically applied to SOA services. This creates a new pattern of business-aware SOA services that focus on line of business execution, rather than technology limitations. This technology can allow development teams to more accurately and efficiently deliver SOA development in alignment with a line of business vision. The Webify runtime extends IBM’s middleware with semantic awareness and the dynamic binding of services, which can allow for a more efficient use of services and a reduction in the quantity of services required.
12. What are IBM’s plans for the products acquired with Webify? A. IBM plans to invest in, support, market and sell the Webify middleware portfolio under the WebSphere brand name. The Webify products continue to be sold as-is and without disruption today. In the coming weeks, IBM will announce the rebranded, renamed, and repackaged versions of the Webify products. IBM is also acquiring from Webify a set of SOA composite business services for specific business areas, such as Claims Lifecycle in the Insurance industry. These composite business services will be used by IBM Global Services to help speed the delivery of mission-critical industry applications to clients.
13. Does IBM intend to further develop the Webify products? What is the roadmap plan for these products? A. Yes. IBM recognizes that industry-focused applications are key to the future of SOA. IBM will further develop and integrate these products, based on the needs of the market.
14. How does IBM intend to price these products? A. Initial pricing will be based on the existing Webify pricing model. Further pricing decisions will be announced as the platform is rebranded. More information and announcements on the topic is expected to be available in late 2006 and 2007.
15. How will the Webify portfolio be branded? A. The Webify middleware will be branded as IBM WebSphere. IBM Global Business Services will use an additional set of assets, Webify’s SOA composite business services, as part of their engagements and the assets that they provide to their clients. Additional information will be made available in the coming weeks. IBM Global Technology Services will provide hosting and provisioning for Webify composite business services.
16. What challenges do you see in integrating Webify with IBM?A. We see no significant problems or challenges with this integration. Webify has been built on and optimized for IBM technology.
Sandy Carter: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) -- Off the Record
From archive: August 2006 X