Services: Floor Wax or Dessert Topping?
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about Web Services Security...
Lately you can't go anywhere without hearing about Web Services.
Web Services have become the topic-of-the-moment in most trade rags,
lunchtime discussions at software companies, and VC conferences.
What is all of this hype about Web Services? What IS a Web Service?
Why is it important and who should care? And most importantly, what
are the opportunities for start-ups? These are a few of the questions
Accelent has been investigating over the past several months. We
have attended conferences, poured over white papers, talked to and
worked with software vendors, and swapped opinions with VCs as we
try to understand where it will all lead. To answer the question
about what "it" is, I was reminded of a popular analogy
from a Saturday Night Live skit, that promoted a product by stating
"it's a floor wax AND a dessert topping" meaning it serves
all of your needs. The hype around Web Services also proposes to
solve all our computing needs - which is not the case. But, it does
promise to be a pretty good floor wax.
The 2001 mantra was that the adoption of Web Services within the
enterprise would result in more flexible application infrastructures,
easier application integration, reduced development time and costs,
and collaborative commerce with partner and suppliers. As we begin
2002, the projected opportunities for this technology, presumed
to be infinite in 2001, seem to be hitting a more realistic plateau.
A healthy skepticism has developed about the technology and its
promise. Much of the debate around the topic of Web Services centers
on its role in the enterprise infrastructure and in its application
to e-commerce. Where does the real value lie? To answer this, you
can't survey users because very few actual implementations of this
new technology have been deployed. But large established market
leaders and early stage start-ups alike are developing product strategies
to capitalize on the promise it brings. Is this rational planning
for the future, or a defocusing distraction caused by the latest
bright and shiny new thing?
Our intent in this paper is to provide an overview of Web Services
and our view on its impact on the software industry. We hope to
provide a few answers to some basic questions on what Web Services
are, including a technical overview of the current standards. We
also discuss the platform wars between J2EE and .Net and the key
issues for IT departments that will impact adoption in the coming
years. Lastly, we identify where we see the most interesting opportunities
for software vendors and summarize our position on its impact on
What a Web Service Is - and Isn't
Web Services - Low Hanging Fruit
Future Standards Development
The Platform Wars: Unix/Windows; J2EE/.Net
- Here We Go Again!
The Enterprise IT Perspective
Phase I: Infrastructure
Phase II: Enterprise Application
Phase III: B2B Commerce and Supply
Phase IV: Enterprise Application
Ancillary Business Opportunities
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Accelent provides strategic management services to help software
startups accelerate marketing strategies, planning, and execution.
With a focus on enterprise infrastructure and applications, Accelent
consultants offer strategic counsel, assist with projects, and fill
interim management roles on a full-time or part-time basis. Bridging
the gap between strategy and execution, Accelent develops successful
strategies and delivers results through highly targeted marketing
programs, even with limited budgets. Accelent is the answer for
early stage startups that don't have the internal resources needed
to position and launch the company or a new product. Accelent also
helps later stage companies fill gaps in the management team, research
and develop new products or programs, or adjust marketing strategies.
Because Accelent consultants have a solid understanding of technology,
learning curves are short and they rapidly assimilate the challenges
at hand. They also bring valuable industry experience and knowledge
to kick-start new marketing initiatives at any stage of a company's
development. Accelent delivers value through innovative marketing
strategies, actionable plans, and successful program execution -
with proven results.
About the Author
Barbara Angius Saxby (email@example.com)
founded Accelent (www.accelentmarketing.com)
to help software startups accelerate marketing strategies, planning,
and execution. She specializes in positioning and launching enterprise
infrastructure and application companies. Barbara is a senior marketing
executive with over 20 years experience in strategic marketing management
and has done extensive work internationally. Her experience includes
both strategic project work and interim positions as vice president
of marketing at the following companies: Reactivity (application
security), Wakesoft (adaptive development platform), Taviz Technology
(EAI adapters) Kirus (service supply chain management), Extricity/Peregrine
(B2B relationship management), ECNet (SCM Services), Annuncio/BrightInfo
(e-Commerce software), uRoam (remote access), NetScreen (network
security appliances), and Resonate (traffic management). Prior to
her consulting career, which began with Acuitive in 1998, Barbara
was VP of Marketing for several software startups focused on application
development and she spent nine years at Dataquest in a variety of
analyst and marketing roles in the US and Europe. Barbara has degrees
in Psychology and Sociology from San Jose University and completed
post-graduate business courses at UC Berkeley including software