Researchers at IBM’s India Research Laboratory have developed software technology that uses sophisticated math algorithms to extract and deliver business insights hidden within the information gathered by companies during customer service calls and other interactions. The new business intelligence technology, called ProAct, is a text analytics tool, which automates previously manual analysis and evaluation of customer service calls and provides insight to help companies assess and improve their performance. ProAct provides an integrated analysis of structured information such as agent and product databases and unstructured data such as email, call logs, call transcription to identify reason for dissatisfaction, agent performance issues and typical product problems. Based on the Unstructured Information Management Analysis (UIMA) framework that IBM contributed to the open source Apache Software Foundation in 2006, the ProAct technology was initially developed as a service engagement. Now the new algorithms are being packaged in software and deployed in many IBM call center customers around the world. UIMA is an open source software framework that helps organizations build new analysis technologies that help organizations gain more insight from their unstructured information by discovering relationships, identifying patterns, and predicting outcomes. IBM uses UIMA to enable text analysis, extraction and concept search capabilities in other parts of its portfolio of enterprise search software products, including OmniFind Enterprise Edition, OmniFind Analytics Edition, and OmniFind Yahoo! Edition. http://www.research.ibm.com/irl/
MuseGlobal announced the adoption of its content integration platform by Microsoft’s SharePoint Server 2007 enterprise suite. With Muse technology, SharePoint customers are now able to present local and licensed content to their enterprise users in a controlled and protected environment. The Microsoft Office SharePoint Server is an enterprise portal platform that makes it easy to build and maintain portal sites. Through consolidated access to existing business applications and content, companies can drive consistent performance of common business tasks, and SharePoint’s integrated Web content management capabilities enable people to publish Web content with a content authoring tool and a built-in approval process. MuseGlobal search integration and management systems enable institutions to build search products and services, unifying a wide range of content sources into custom search solutions. http://www.museglobal.com
BEA Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS) and Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq: ADBE) announced they have signed an agreement across four products. The companies will work together to provide customers with a design environment for rich Internet application (RIA) development. Separately, they will bring together application server technology to help enterprises develop customer engagement applications. BEA will bundle Adobe Flex Builder 2 software with BEA Workshop Studio, allowing developers to build cross-platform RIAs that integrate with SOA and Web 2.0 infrastructure for enterprise mash-ups. Further, every Workshop Studio developer will now have access to Flex technology for building RIAs. The agreement also calls for Adobe to distribute evaluation licenses of BEA’s application server, WebLogic Server, with Adobe LiveCycle Enterprise Suite (ES) software. The new Workshop Studio bundle includes Flex Builder 2, Adobe’s Eclipse-based IDE, and the Adobe Flex SDK, which is planned to be released under the open source Mozilla Public License. These RIAs can then be integrated with other BEA products, such as those from the company’s WebLogic and AquaLogic product families. Organizations also will be able to deploy these applications using Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR), a new cross-operating system application runtime that allows developers to extend RIAs to the desktop. http://bea.com, http://www.adobe.com
Business managers serving on WCM product-selection teams or attending technology conferences sometimes ask for definitions of “Web services” and “service-oriented architecture (SOA).” They say they are confused by their IT teams’ usage of the terms as though they were synonymous, and that when the managers themselves use the terms interchangeably, they get corrected. Why does this happen?
Web services, a technology standard, and SOA, an architectural design methodology, are highly complementary. Yet they are distinct. “Web services” refers to technologies that allow enterprise applications of all kinds (WCM, CRM ERP, BI, etc.) to communicate with each other. Common forms of Web services include application programming interfaces (APIs), which are connectors written by software vendors that allow for a standard way of communicating with their applications. Vendors often publish or sell these APIs as a straightforward means of connecting. Another common – and more generic – example of a Web service is any message, often in XML format, exchanged between a client (a Web browser, for example) and a server (your bank’s database) using the SOAP protocol. There are variations on these two themes, but the important concept to remember about Web services is that, simply put, they allow for a standard means of communication between software applications which may or may not rely upon transmission over the Web. Web services very frequently communicate only over corporate networks.
SOA, on the other hand, is not a technology. Rather, it is a way of designing connections between objects (application code components), applications, and other technology infrastructure. Like the frame of a building with respect to its windows and floors, SOA only defines the relationships between technology components, not their composition. SOA’s goals are to achieve self-sufficiency for each component – i.e. that each component will perform one complete task or “service” – and for each component to offer its “service” to all of the others. It stands to reason then, that Web services and SOA often fit together well because SOA provides a framework within which discrete components can interact with each other, and Web services provide a standard way of building the components.
Vamosa has launched free content analysis and migration software for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. The free software combines Vamosa Community Edition and Vamosa developed SharePoint 2007 connector technology. Vamosa Community Edition was originally released in November 2006 as generic content analysis and migration software downloadable for free from www.vamosa.com. It combines the full functionality of Vamosa’s software, Vamosa Content Analyser and Vamosa Content Migrator, into a single product. The extension of Vamosa Community Edition to include the Microsoft SharePoint 2007 connector allows the SharePoint community to capitalise on the benefits an automated approach to analysis and migration has to offer. Although the software will continue with the limitation of 1000 pages users will be able to: Gain a detailed understanding of up to 1000 pages of content in the fastest manner possible, Improve content quality through the removal of duplicate and out-dated content, Enhance content via the application of relevant metadata, and Reduce the pain involved in migrating content to SharePoint. Vamosa plans to release further editions of Vamosa Community Edition for other leading ECM vendors. Offerings for IBM and Interwoven are due in the near future. Vamosa Community Edition for SharePoint can also be downloaded from http://www.vamosa.com/sharepoint2007
Software AG (TecDAX, ISIN DE 0003304002 / SOW), and webMethods, Inc. (NASDAQ: WEBM) announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Software AG to acquire webMethods in a cash tender offer for $9.15 per share or approximately $546 million. This transaction is intended to strengthen the combined company’s position in the SOA and Business Process Management (BPM) markets. Together, the companies bring an expanded product portfolio to a global customer base of over 4,000 organizations and 100 partners in complementary geographies around the globe. Specifically, Software AG will more than double its customer base in North America. This combination also brings minimal customer overlap, providing immediate and mutual access to additional customer segments, particularly in financial services, manufacturing and the public sector. The acquisition will create an SOA and BPM product portfolio including SOA Governance & Enablement, BPM and Business Activity Monitoring, Application Integration and Legacy Modernization capabilities. The transaction has been approved by the Supervisory Board of Software AG. webMethods’ Board of Directors has also approved the transaction and will recommend that their shareholders accept the offer. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close during the second quarter of 2007. http://www.softwareag.com, http://www.webmethods.com
Day Software (SWX:DAYN) (OTC:DYIHY) announced that the company is delivering a Java Technology API standard (JSR 170) connector for FileNet P8 Content Manager. Other connectors that are in development include interfaces for Microsoft SharePoint, IBM Domino.doc, and Software AG Tamino, among others. The FileNet P8 Content Manager connector is part of Day’s Content Integration family of products that enable enterprises to access and manage all organizational content through a standardized API. This technology allows the implementation of content access, synchronization and consolidation, leveraging future-proof standardization, even if the content resides in data stores that do not provide a JCR compliant API. http://www.day.com