Vendors Key On Infrastructure Integration - Page 3
Code Name 'Sparrow Web'
For its part, Xerox is working on a product codenamed Sparrow Web. Demonstrated at the recent CeBIT show in New York City, the software is designed for quick HTML-based creation of apps that extend underlying content management features from Xerox DocuShare to Microsoft Outlook and other third-party software.
Xerox plans to release the product next fall as an add-on to DocuShare 3.0. Early adopters include Stanford University, said Tao Liang, Ph.D., manager of advanced development for DocuShare, during an interview at CeBIT.
Sparrow Web is also part of a wider enterprise initiative announced by Xerox last fall. "Xerox is concentrating on its key strength in collaboration, while also working with partners with expertise in other areas," observes Amy Wohl, president of the analyst firm Wohl & Associates.
Xerox's partners include Cofax, for integrating digitized hard copy documents, and Verity, for categorization, says Colman Murphy, product manager for DocuShare.
Technology Meets Business
Another big chunk of the new software integration wave consists of software products for integrating communications and other IT functions with an organization's underlying business processes.
In the absence of off-the-shelf BPI (business process integration) products, some organizations, such as Schneider National, have been working on developing their own BPI middleware. Schneider has been using wireless networks for communicating with its trucking fleet since the early 1980s, pointed out Paul Mueller, Schneider's VP for tech services, during a presentation at CeBIT.
Without BPI middleware, Mueller maintained, the company couldn't move to a new wireless networking platform without also undergoing the expensive proposition of changing its business processes.
Keeping Network Managers in the Loop
Generally speaking, CIOs have ultimate responsibility over IT integration projects. Still, network managers and other systems administrators should be kept in the loop, analysts say.
"Making changes to underlying systems can create new security exposures," notes Gartner's Stanco. Sometimes, integration spells changes to network infrastructures, as well.