IBM Completes CrossWorlds Acquisition

Move beefs up vendor's business integration middleware portfolio

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IBM completed its acquisition of enterprise application integration software vendor CrossWorlds Monday, a move that adds more business-process integration to IBM's WebSphere business-integration middleware portfolio, a company executive said.

Paraic Sweeney, vice president of marketing for the solutions and strategy division of the IBM Software Group, said adding CrossWorlds' Interchange Server to the WebSphere portfolio will enable IBM partners and customers to automate business processes, such as customer-information changes, across multiple applications in an enterprise.

"Increasingly, customers want to do ... integration at the process level around business objects and business flow," said Sweeney. "For example, think of an object called 'customer' that exists across CRM, supply chain management and billing applications. I could have a process that says, 'update customer' ... that needs to be executed in a [seamless fashion across all of those applications. That's the real value CrossWorlds brings."

IBM completed the acquisition of Burlingame, Calif.-based CrossWorlds early Monday. The former office of CrossWorlds now will become the IBM Burlingame Development Lab, and its products will become a part of IBM's WebSphere business-integration product line, said Sweeney.

IBM announced its intent to buy CrossWorlds for $129 million in cash in late October 2001.

Sweeney said the CrossWorlds' Interchange Server now is part of IBM's WebSphere integration portfolio, which includes its MQSeries middleware, including MQSeries Workflow, MQSeries Everyplace and MQ Integrator. The business-integration line also includes a variety of adapters--branded IBM WebSphere Adapters--that link back-end business applications across the enterprise.

For now, Interchange is being sold in a package--with process templates, tools and application adapters--as "a complete integration environment," said Sweeney. It also will be bundled with other IBM business integration products, such as the MQSeries line, he added.

Sweeney said IBM will be "expanding" current relationships with systems integrators and other partners to include the CrossWorlds' platform.

"This is an added capability that systems integrators can apply to solving the integration needs of customers," said Sweeney.

He added that IBM also will build upon existing relationships between CrossWorlds and its partners, including a relationships with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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