Software AG goes SOA all the way

As part of a new market strategy aimed at growth markets, business software vendor Software AG will focus on SOA (service-oriented architecture) products and services, and plans acquisitions to broaden its product portfolio and market share, company executives announced at a news conference Wednesday.

The Darmstadt, Germany, software maker, which used to tag itself The XML Company, sees its future in helping businesses migrate their legacy IT systems to more flexible, SOA-enabled infrastructures, said Peter Kürpick, the member of the Software AG executive board responsible for research and development.

Software AG offers a suite of products, including its main Crossvision application, that provide companies with the necessary tools to build SOA-based services and the interfaces to link them to other applications, Kürpick said.

Kürpick pointed to the company's new Active Governance Framework (AGF) featuring an SOA policy editor that allows developers to edit and enforce business and technical policies. One of AGF's features is the capability to send alerts to business users when an application conflicts with an established policy.

With its focus on SOA products and services, Software AG aims to double its sales to €1 billion (US$1.3 billion) within the next five years, said CEO Karl-Heinz Streibich.

While Software AG intends to "remain a product company," a huge share of its business will come from consulting services, said company spokesman Norbert Eder.

Acquisitions, particularly a larger company in the U.S., will help increase sales and thus market share, according to Eder. Software AG is also keen to acquire smaller software companies that can broaden its SOA portfolio or provide access to new markets in Europe, he said.

The company has set aside €700 million for acquisitions.

At the Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany, next month, Software AG plans to provide more details about its SOA strategy, Kürpick said.

The company is the initiator of the "SOA World" event to held at the trade show. The event will include a forum and exhibition by providers of SOA products and services.

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