Privately-held Monrovia, Calif.-based Software Technology Corp. (STC), which competes against companies such as Tibco, Neon Software and Vitria, develops so-called enterprise application integration (EAI) software that enables various business applications to talk to one another.
For many companies, the Holy Grail lies in tapping information from a variety of systems in order to track sales from the initial order through production and through customer service cycles. STC is positioning its new connectivity software as one way for companies to reduce the expense of integrating back office and front office software.
"A lot of consultants do the integration [work]...We built it into a product so integration is 80 percent done," said Alyssa Berg, global alliance manager at STC. "We've pre-built it so we're able to meet [a company's] initial business requirements straight out of the box."
Beth Gold-Bernstein, an industry analyst at Hurwitz Group, said companies that don't want to fiddle with heavy-duty integration work benefit from software such as STC's. Yet despite efforts to make the software easier to implement, customers still require some consulting and customization, she said.
"These [EAI] tools make it easier to connect applications, but?. it's still 50 percent consulting, 50 percent product," said Gold-Bernstein.
Many SAP customers already use the software to automate their financials, accounting, order entry and manufacturing needs. Some customers have relied on customer relationship management software from Siebel, while others are waiting to install SAP's.
Despite product development and shipping snafus, SAP began delivering its own customer relationship management software last month, beginning with six components from a total of 16 to be made available throughout the year.
But for those who choose STC's product, there are two parts to the technology, so-called e*Ways along with a bridge that enables different applications to communicate with each other. While the e*Way product provides companies with a way to connect their different applications, the bridge software component provides all the mapping and coding needed for Siebel applications to move data to SAP applications and vice versa, the company said.
For example, if a company is taking an order using a Siebel application, the information need not be re-entered into the SAP system, eliminating a redundant order entry process, Berg said.
STC said pricing for the e*Way connecting software starts around $15,000 and is available now. Pricing for two e*Ways and a bridge that serves as the connector between two e*Ways, starts at around $100,000 and is expected to ship at the end of February.