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Signs of flailing: BEA now a Web 2.0 company?

Remember when software was simple? A company press release indicates that BEA Systems has fallen into a product zigzag to catch new trends.

My post on whether BEA Systems is screwed hasn't even been up for a full day, and the company decided to one-up me with this press release, marking a 180-degree turn from everything they have been pushing for the last two years.

The company had been talking about Aqualogic as an SOA (service-oriented architecture) story, and now it's pitching it as a blog-wiki mashup: "New Web 2.0 service solutions from enterprise infrastructure software firm BEA, along with enterprise social-computing products, are designed to accelerate the next generation of user participation."

BEA is clearly trying to push outside its bread and butter, but the message doesn't make much sense in relation to how the company is positioning the rest of their products.

BEA's statement goes on to suggest that the company could also be powering buzzword-compliant Web 2.0 initiatives: "BEA's enterprise social-computing products are designed to deliver the next wave of knowledge worker productivity--vital for increased business efficiency, growth and innovation."

What the heck does that even mean?

It appears that BEA has fallen into a flailing product zigzag to catch new trends--part of Zack Urlocker's 13-point checklist to determine if your company is in trouble. Hint: yes, yes BEA is.

When we recorded our latest Open Season podcast, one of the main topics was why Oracle would want BEA. The short answer: largely because it can achieve an economy of scale with the sales team, but it could also enter new markets, thanks to BEA's superior middleware technologies. Ultimately, our synopsis is that Oracle could make more money from BEA's products than BEA itself could.

Is that good? I would say it'd be good for Oracle shareholders, if the company were to again pursue (and ultimately close) the acquisition, but not good for software buyers whose choices are further limited. There is still a question mark around whether BEA shareholders will get the happy exit they really need.