BEA's Busy Rebranding

The vendor last week chose the New York offices of the Nasdaq stock market to unveil a major rebranding effort, along with its new AquaLogic software family for supporting and managing services-oriented architectures (SOAs). The move comes none too soon: BEA needs to boost its profile amid declining sales of its flagship WebLogic application infrastructure software.


New aquaLogic product family takes its bow:


>> BEA AquaLogic Service Bus: Available sometime this summer.
>> BEA AquaLogic Service Registry: Available sometime this summer.
>> BEA AquaLogic Data Services Platform: General availability planned for later this month.
>> BEA AquaLogic Enterprise Security: Available today.

"For the company, these changes will help provide growth," said Bill Roth, vice president of product marketing at the San Jose, Calif.-based vendor. "There are two ways to grow. One is to sell more of your existing products. The other is to sell more products. We now have more products. And it makes it easier for us to go —in a nonthreatening way—into IBM, Oracle and SAP accounts and say, 'We can help you.' Our goal is to be the Switzerland of software."

That could be a tough sell. Despite having well-regarded application infrastructure products, BEA has consistently come up short when positioning itself, especially against IBM—even as observers deride that vendor's hodgepodge of integration products, wired together by professional services.

According to research firm Gartner, IBM holds 37 percent of the global market for application integration and middleware vs. 7 percent for BEA. And last year, BEA's revenue from new software licenses fell 7 percent from the year before. Quarterly licensing revenue for its first fiscal quarter ended April 30 was $116.1 million, off 12 percent from the previous quarter, or down 3 percent vs. the year-earlier period in 2004.

Sponsored post

"A lot of people have been saying that the application server space, which is BEA's bread and butter, is becoming commoditized," said Curt Stevenson, vice president of professional services at Back Bay Technologies, a Needham, Mass., systems integrator that partners with BEA and IBM. "AquaLogic could be BEA's future."

That line includes AquaLogic Service Bus and AquaLogic Service Registry, a UDDI-compliant registry licensed from SOA pure-play Systinet where customers can find, add and remove services.

BEA has also rebranded its Liquid Data enterprise information integration server. Now called AquaLogic Data Services Platform, the server has been enhanced to write data-based services, rather than just read them. The newly rebranded AquaLogic Enterprise Security platform now allows customers to convert security policies into reusable services.

"It's all about marketing and penetration," said Rob Wolfe, CEO of AvcomEast, Vienna, Va. "IBM gives things away because they can leverage IBM Global Services. That's what the whole industry has to overcome with IBM. These new names [at BEA] actually give us a consistent branding we can take to the customer."