Actional CEO John Orcutt pushes real-time application integration

By Michael Vizard, InfoWorld |  Software

Orcutt: I think XML is great, but it's one of dozens of things that are essentially just standards to support the movement of information. XML doesn't really relate to the business services and processes that have to be created and aggregated.

InfoWorld: What's the impact of the current economic climate on these types of projects?

Orcutt: What we tend to hear is the need for front-to-back integration is the very top of the priorities list in IT groups. The other thing that we're hearing, which is kind of interesting given the economic uncertainty that's going on right now, is that integration is going to be something that you might call recession-resistant. It's probably not recession-proof, but corporations are basically looking at what may be a head-on collision happening here. On the one hand, their IT budgets are going to be squeezed, so efficiency is extremely important; preserving investments that have already been made is extremely important. And on the other hand, they know that the way to succeed is to be able to automate more of their services at the front end of the enterprise. So they are looking at a need to move applications forward, but at the same time they're going to be under very tight budget squeezes. One of the reasons that we believe we're doing well now and will continue to do well is that they can preserve all of that back-end investment.

InfoWorld: So at the end of the day, what's going to motivate customers to follow your approach?

Orcutt: What we find in our marketplace is that the things that are driving Global 2000 companies is that they've made a huge investment in their legacy applications and software infrastructure over the years. None of these large Global 2000 companies wants to throw away the investment that they've made in the back end. Nor do they really want to spend anymore money than they have to modify those applications. What we've created in our methodology is a way for them to actually carry forward and extend all of the existing applications that they have at the back end by making them services. Middleware can't solve that problem without very time-consuming and very expensive glue-coating and custom-coating. Our implementation times are typically more in the six-week range, not in the six-month range.

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