IBM will extend its WebSphere Business Integration Accelerators (WBIA) program to systems integrators, a program which makes available the necessary technical resources to build applications that can be integrated with a wide range of other popular server-based applications through WebSphere.
"We wanted to extend this to integrators so they can not only focus on leveraging the contacts we have from an industry and application connectivity perspectives, but also at the business process level where they can bring their domain expertise onto our infrastructure," IBM's vice president in charge of WebSphere integration, Marie Wieck, said.
The WBIA program includes sales enablement tools such as sales materials to help integrators better position their products, technical support from IBM's WebSphere Business Integration Adapter Competency Center, joint marketing programs, and access to IBM's alliance management for navigation and guidance.
IBM introduced the Accelerators' program for just independent software developers in mid-February at its PartnerWorld conference. The company has since added a dozen new partners specialising in seven different vertical markets, a company spokesman said.
IBM's WebSphere Business Integration products offer five core capabilities including the ability to model, integrate, monitor, and manage.
"We also supply a bunch of pre-built templates for a number of different industry solutions, Wieck said. "For instance, we have an offering for telcos that allows them to directly enable a new DSL service provisioning with their partners. We also have one for HIPPA in the health care space so medical organizations can share data in a secure way."
IBM recently delivered Version 4.2 of its WebSphere Business Integration Edition, containing all five core capabilities.
Wieck said IBM was also readying a connector that tied WebSphere Business Integration with its Content Manager series of application and tools. This would allow administrators to check on live data coursing through the Content Management product using a WebSphere-based portal.
"We have started to see a lot of interest in terms of leveraging content management data into a business process," he said. "We are seeing that more as a requirement among users as well as between our CM [content management] team and out business integration team with the releases of 4.2 and the release of Content Manager 8.2."
Wieck declined to say specifically when such a connector would be made available but did say it would likely be shipped by the end of 2003.