You may have been on vacation and not noticed, but IBM received final regulatory approval to acquire Sterling Commerce on August 27th. This will likely lead to significant enhancements in B2B capability for IBM and Sterling Commerce customers. Here's our guess as to what you can expect from an integration product perspective:
- A more functional B2B integration software lineup. IBM customers will have access to Sterling Commerce technology that supports comprehensive features for monitoring and managing partner and suppliers. They will also have access to a range of supply chain applications that Sterling Commerce has deployed in several vertical industries like automotive, manufacturing, retail, and distribution.
- A cloud-based integration environment. Both IBM and Sterling Commerce customers will likely have increased options for implementing cloud-based integration based on the robust B2B network that IBM now owns and the integration appliance options (Datapower and Cast Iron) that are also available. Expect a major thrust in this area.
- Upgraded SOA capability. Sterling Commerce customers will find it easier to implement SOA capabilities using the strong capabilities that IBM can bring to bear in this area.
Stay tuned for more details. We'll be getting formally briefed on this subject in a couple of weeks (once the IBM/Sterling Commerce team have completed their product road map), and we'll pass on the details at that time.
As always, I'd be interested in your thoughts about this acquisition. Please send me your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or just comment directly to this post.