The fruit of CrossRoads' labor won't be available until the end of the year, but the company has already signed an agreement with IBM to use Big Blue's Component Broker Connector and Toolkit to help bridge data between front-end customer service applications--retail order forms or bank loan applications, for example--and back-end processing applications from Baan, SAP, PeopleSoft, and other enterprise software makers.
In theory, CrossRoads' tools will allow the linking of one front-end application to several back-end apps and reduce duplication of data entry and other time-consuming tasks.
"The claim is they do it transparently," said Mitch Kramer, contributing editor at Patricia Seybold Group. "By its intention, it's a great idea."
The new software will only solve the needs of specific users, Kramer cautioned. "It won't be attractive to customers who already have custom-built applications. It's designed more to integrate two different brands of software on the front and back ends."
Pricing was not available.