Prophecy scores plum IBM deal

Prophecy scores plum IBM deal

South Australian-based software developer Prophecy International will be the first ISV (independent software vendor) to have its tools distributed globally to IBM's channel partners under Big Blue's IPASS program.

IPASS (IBM Passport Advantage Solution Selling for ISVs) is a global program IBM has introduced in which it offers channel partners bundled solutions, including both hardware and software, to resell and implement for end users.

The vendor recently decided to begin offering its channel partners solutions from among its ISV partners in these bundles. This enables IBM to increase sales by marketing third-party software products that are tightly integrated with its own middleware products. Prophecy International's rapid application development tool, Velatte, has been announced as the first third-party application to be offered in the program.

As a result, IBM's 20,000-plus channel partners from around the globe will be offered a bundle of IBM hardware and software products under one product, SKU, which will include Prophecy's Velatte product. The sales and fulfilment will all be handled by IBM with royalties sent back to Prophecy.

Velatte is a rapid application development tool which allows non-developers such as business analysts to design J2EE applications in a ‘pick and drop' fashion from pre-assembled objects and rules. The tool thus allows a person to develop high-end Java applications without needing to know how to write Java code.

Prophecy International and IBM have worked to port the Velatte product to IBM's J2EE (Java Enterprise Edition) application server WebSphere and relational database DB2. Before this, the product was used to develop applications for BEA's WebLogic and Sun Microsystems' iPlanet application servers.

"With WebLogic, iPlanet and now WebSphere, our product can fit with about 75 to 80 per cent of all of the application servers in the market," said Bruce Lakin, Prophecy's CEO.

Prophecy International has signed joint marketing arrangements with several major vendors in the past. Sun Microsystems, for example, aids the Australian-based developer in marketing its tools to Sun customers and partners. As a result of this partnership, Prophecy was able to launch its Velatte product at Sun's JavaOne conference in San Francisco. "I would advocate [partnering with major vendors] as a good strategy for any local developer," Lakin said.

Lakin said the new IBM partnership sees Velatte marketed on a worldwide basis, but the US is his primary focus at present, hence his move to Denver to make deals first hand. Big Blue's Australian partners are likely to see the Velatte product bundled with IBM's solutions by the end of this year.

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