E.piphany is set to announce Tuesday that it will offer BEA Systems’ WebLogic Server as an integrated option for the E.piphany E.6 CRM suite. “It is part of our ongoing commitment to the J2EE standard,” Phil Fernandez, executive vice president of products, told CRM Buyer magazine.
In practical terms, the alliance will provide one-stop shopping for customers interested in purchasing these products from a single vendor that can provide integrated support.
“We are pleased to partner with BEA, because the company shares our goal of delivering component-based, Web-service enabled solutions that enterprises can use to strengthen their customer relationships, increase customer retention and drive new sales,” Fernandez said.
The E.piphany E.6 CRM suite with integrated BEA WebLogic Server deployment option will be available immediately, the vendors said.
The E.piphany-BEA Systems alliance is on the vanguard of a new trend toward decoupling CRM services from underlying application infrastructure, Meta Group’s Liz Shahnam Roche, vice president and director of CRM Infusion, told CRM Buyer. This strategy will make services available for internal and external technology-enabled business processes — a development Roche expects to start seeing unfold by 2005.
“During 2003 [and] 2004, organizations will continue to acquire CRM technologies from multiple vendors and integrate components by leveraging EAI (enterprise application integration) technologies, middleware and emerging Web-services standards,” Roche predicted.
“By 2007 [and] 2008, heterogeneous components consisting of data, process and integration services will be commercially available for assembly within enterprise business frameworks,” she added.
In short, what E.piphany has done is decouple application services from underlying application infrastructure in order to begin delivering on the promise of services-based component architectures.
New Strategies, New Tools
From BEA’s point of view, such forward-looking strategies have become necessary for survival and for any hope of thriving in an atmosphere rife with competition from IBM and Microsoft.
For example, last year BEA released a Web-services platform that made it easier for application developers — not just J2EE experts — to develop and deploy enterprise-level Web services: a move that fit into a pattern of similar offerings emerging from IBM, Sun, SAP, Siebel Systems and others. All of these companies aim to facilitate any-to-any application integration through standards and, in some cases, prepackaged components.
Melding Analytics with Operational Capabilities
“BEA has to stay current with the times in order to keep developers loyal,” AMR Research senior analyst Louis Columbus told CRM Buyer.
E.6 also includes a number of advances, Fernandez said, with its focus on melding analytical and operational CRM capabilities.
E.piphany also has been working to improve the process of tying together data from different sources, Fernandez said, adding that its competitors — including PeopleSoft, SAP and Siebel — have far to go on this front. “2003 will be about developing new-generation CRM platforms to help customers clean up this mess created by diverse silos,” he said. “The aim is to prevent churn. It’s not simple. We need to proactively have a holistic effort to hang on to our best customers.”