E-business portal provider Epicentric said it will unveil Monday its acquisition of Web services tool company Application Park. The move will enable solution providers to build B2B Web sites that allow business managers to create and manage Web services, according to the company.
Epicentric, based here, said it will announce it has bought the privately held company, also based here, in a stock-swap acquisition. The companies are not disclosing the terms of the deal.
Ed Anuff, co-founder, chairman and chief strategy officer of Epicentric, says Epicentric will integrate the Application Park Server into Epicentric's Foundation Server 3.5 with a product called Epicentric Web Service Builder. The new product will be available by the third quarter of 2001.
The Application Park Server enables business users to create and modify Web services using a Web browser, which fills in a key blank for current B2B portal users who want to leverage the Web-services opportunity, says Anuff.
"What [has been] missing from the equation is a vendor who has the solution to combine Web services [capability] and bring those [services] to end users," says Anuff.
This type of integration is an example of a trend recently noted in a presentation here by Bobby Cameron, principal analyst for Forrester Research Inc., that technology is giving business managers more and more control over decisions once held by IT professionals. "Traditional IT roles are transitioning to business people," said Cameron in his presentation. "As companies specialize in core competencies, technology delivery comes with the business solution."
Richard Hall, executive vice president of business solutions for McLean, Va.-based e-services provider Future Next, says the integration of Epicentric and Application Park's product will give enterprise business managers more control over Web services in a B2B environment.
"[Previously], the Epicentric platform was an integration platform, but it didn't provide the application development side of things--we'd use other application development tools to build applications to integrate [with the platform]," says Hall.
He says that once Epicentric integrates Application Park into its platform, business managers will be able to manage content and build custom Web services for their employees to leverage
"This [acquisition] takes a big step in empowering those business users to do things they otherwise would have to call in their IT people for," says Hall.
Anuff says that Epicentric will begin training its solution-provider partners on Web Service Builder in the second quarter of 2001 so they will be up to speed on the new product for its general release later in the year.
Anuff says that 60 percent of Epicentric's sales will be partner-influenced by the end of 2001.
"It's a very important aspect of our strategy," says Anuff of Epicentric's channel sales.