Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Intentia wraps its apps around IBM--is there a Linux connection?

Intentia, a Swedish-based ERP vendor, is joining a number of other enterprise application vendors in embedding IBM's technology offerings with Intentia's Movex applications. According to the press release, "Intentia will pre-integrate its Movex applications with IBM’s WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Portal-Express and DB2 Universal Database. As such, every order from a medium-sized business will be shipped with IBM's enterprise-proven technology embedded inside the Intentia application suite."

Other major software vendors have made similar moves. See, for example, my post on QAD's partnership or JDE's partnership with IBM). It's getting to the point that major enterprise software vendors can be divided into two main groups: those that are aligned around Microsoft's technologies, such as .NET, and those that are aligned around IBM's. I suppose Oracle is the exception that makes the rule.

One interesting twist with Intentia, however, is the Linux connection. The press release says, "Intentia will also develop an optimized version of Movex for Linux, a low cost and reliable platform that continues to gain momentum in the mid-market." Hopefully, Intentia will follow through on this statement. Other applications vendors have announced Linux strategies but then don't seem to do much with them. For example, earlier this year PeopleSoft made a big deal earlier about its Linux strategy, but at its PeopleSoft Connect conference in September I could not find a single presentation on Linux.

I would love to see Intentia succeed with Linux. Over the past two years, Intentia has completely rewritten its entire Movex suite to Java, making it, to my knowledge, the only ERP offering a 100% Java-based system. Java fits very well with Linux. Since IBM's commitment to both Java and Linux is well known, Intentia should be right at home in the IBM fold. Intentia has over 3500 customers in 40 countries, but I'm guessing that over 90% of them are still running Intentia's pre-Java AS/400-based system. Therefore, Intentia needs to quickly complete the Linux optimization and get a few good reference accounts for it. If successful, Intentia could become an interesting alternative for companies that would like a greater share of their data center infrastructure on Linux.

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