BT Disrupts Traditional Integration Market

BT has launched its first managed application and data integration service for the distributed enterprise. BT Integrate’s ‘pay-as-you-grow’ subscription based pricing model delivers, they say, predictable cost of ownership, and reduces the need for upfront investment in new technology and skills. It also reduces integration management complexity and is faster to deploy than alternative approaches.

In today’s extended enterprise, many organisations need to integrate business-critical information across core processes, multiple channels and geographies. However, this places significant demands on an organisation’s resources across the life-cycle of an integration project. Traditional approaches typically require expensive, long-running projects that involve large numbers of highly skilled people. This new solution from BT directly addresses each of these stumbling blocks.

BT Integrate provides a managed integration service that is designed, implemented and operated to deliver simple, scalable and affordable application integration. It builds upon existing BT solutions such as Application Assured Infrastructure, which helps to optimise performance of business-critical operations and processes. Combined, these services deliver a broad set of capabilities to enhance application delivery, enabling organisations to maximise flexibility and operational efficiency.

Once implemented, BT Integrate works within a customer’s existing network boundaries and security requirements with no loss of control over policy or business process configuration. It delivers this service through:

• Hardware integration appliances that are deployed where required within a customer’s existing private network .
• Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) integration technology which is embedded inside each hardware appliance. This technology is provided through BT’s relationship with Sonic Software.
• A centralised management portal which allows customers to configure BT Integrate and monitor service performance.
• A team of experts that provide the necessary skills to design and deliver customer specific solutions over the integration lifecycle encompassing Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) development, infrastructure optimisation, training and change management.
• 24/7 operations support delivering implementation, pro-active management, service assurance and backup.

Stefan Van Overtveldt, vice president for IT Transformation in BT Global Services said: “We are seeing a major transformation in how integration is achieved across the enterprise with business drivers such as globalisation, agility and supply chain visibility resulting in an increasing need to connect, route and intelligently handle data at the edge of an organisation.

“The emergence of open standards, web services, and technologies such as Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) combined with the evolution of the network should allow companies to interconnect disparate systems in far more efficient ways.”

“However, the industry is largely focussed on selling software – this creates a huge gap between what you buy and the solution you implement to address needs. This is a costly approach in terms of up-front investment and skills required, and we see this proving increasingly difficult to support with the business drivers that most organisations now face.”

Overtveldt concludes, “BT’s approach is disruptive in so far as it takes a holistic view of business and technical requirements for integration, providing a flexible managed service where required, and charged so as to reflect specific project needs.”

On discussing the development of BT Integrate, Ian Charlesworth, Senior Analyst at Ovum, noted: “This fits well with a growing need in the marketplace, for functional, standards-based integration technology delivered and managed at a predictable cost”
David Sprott, principal analyst at the CBDI Forum, summarising BT Integrate in the context of future business integration trends forecasts: “Over the next decade enterprises will move away from building their own integration and management infrastructure. Communications service providers are well positioned to deliver sophisticated service management environments that provide end to end support with simplified, business transaction level interfaces and policy driven management and controls.

The size and sophistication of the task is likely to persuade almost all enterprises to use utility services in the same way almost all enterprises acquire their power supplies from utilities. In effect, the network becomes the integration platform. With BT Integrate, BT is starting to enable this vision.”