The SOA (service-oriented architecture) marketplace has been a morass of vendor-speak, focused on selling software stacks instead of addressing the core issue, which is how to develop a cohesive architecture that will scale with your organization.
The more acquisitions, the more product confusion and the less ability for an end-user to figure out if the products serve their needs.
Over at InfoWorld, Dave Linthicum highlights five things that SOA vendors should know.
1. Make sure your product works.
2. Make sure you know what SOA is.
3. Get wise about the approach to SOA.
4. Don't sell yourself as "one stop SOA shopping."
5. Consider the future.
I would add one more thing: get your product into users' hands.
One of the inherent advantages of open source is that a product is available for download. Some vendors, like Oracle, make their whole SOA suite available for download, whereas other companies, like Software AG, make components available, and still others, like HP and SOA Software, make you pay before you get to do anything.
An SOA approach is as much about initial design as it is about refinement. A user needs to be able to try the products out and see if they work for their use-case before they are forced to choke down a massive license fee.