BEA Buys BPM Software Vendor Fuego


BEA Systems has acquired privately held business-process management (BPM) software maker Fuego for $87.5 million in cash, the companies announced Wednesday.

Seven-year-old Fuego, based in Dallas, sells the FuegoBPM software suite, a bundle of modules that handle process modeling, monitoring and measurement. BEA is rebranding Fuego's software as its new AquaLogic Business Service Interaction product line. BEA executives hailed the deal as one that will move them deeper into the SOA (services-oriented architecture) software market.

BEA and Fuego began working closely together after BEA's October acquisition of portal software maker Plumtree, which was Fuego's largest OEM partner, according to Fuego CEO Jon Lauck. Fuego's software has been used in 170 production projects, for clients including Southwest Airlines, United Healthcare and JPMorgan Chase. It often works with systems integrators and boutique consultancies on these deals.

Most of Fuego's sales have been done directly, although Lauck said the company has some reseller partners in Latin America. BEA executives weren't immediately available for comment about their channel plans for the newly acquired software.

UBS analyst Heather Bellini praised the deal as a good match. "Fuego's software provides BEA with access to the last big missing piece in its AquaLogic product line," she wrote in a research note. "Fuego is strong in the [telecom] and financial services verticals and more than 50 percent of its customers will be new to BEA. Fuego will also likely expand BEA's reach in customers as it targets business line heads vs. IT departments."

Bellini sees the acquisition as a boost to BEA's SOA credibility. More than three-quarters of Fuego's client projects are SOA-related, according to Lauck.

"What Fuego has been very successful at doing is automating processes and delivering ROI while [customers] are still defining their SOA strategy and moving to it," Lauck said. "If you change your underlying architecture over time, we still work with that."

Fuego currently has a staff off 100, almost all of whom will join BEA, company executives said. Lauck plans to remain with BEA. Fuego's top competitors in the BPM software market are IBM and Tibco.