I am a developer at a client who is considering upgrading their Wm platform to version 6.5 (they use components ES 5.0, EI 4.6 and various adapters version 4.11)
I not really involved in any decision making (so I dont count much) but I am hearing stories of the possible upgrade of the platform or scraping the entire platform and implementing another product from a different vendor.
I am aware that there are many factors to consider but I feel that I dont disagree with scraping a platform to implement another that has been successfully running in prod for the last 5 years. I know the upgrade is a huge step (considering time estimates, costs, business continuity etc…) but I feel that I want to say something about how I feel - I have read various documents and I know there are many implementation options available that can used to upgrade the system that can affect costing and time etc.
I would like to know if there is any actual benefit from scraping the platform and implementing another product - I personally think that would cost the client far more than upgrading the platform (I am not sure though). I would like to know you thoughts and views in considering the costs of an upgrade or implementing another product?
There are often good reasons for scrapping one vendor platform and going with another even if that platform is not (sniff, sniff) webMethods.
Hopefully, the reasons under consideration have to do with real functionality differences between the incumbent vendor and the one under consideration or with a major price point advantage that might come with a new vendor (e.g. an open source ESB project vs. webMethods).
Sometimes though, the momentum to switch comes primarily from arrogance or unresponsiveness on the part of the incumbent vendor or perhaps the incumbent begins to lag the rest of the market in some feature set perceived by the decision makers as critically important. However, the software business is always a game of leap frog. Today’s market leaders will fall behind, lose a bit of market share and scramble to catch up again.
Other times, a decision maker has an agenda to switch and won’t be bothered to conduct a fact-based analysis of the real cost of switching or the real impact of not having the absolute latest features right now at this very minute. I’ve seen one large client do this (they jumped to BizTalk) only to realize 12 months later that it was an unwise move. That kind of knee jerk decision making is very expensive and ultimately costs the organization market share or missed opportunities to innovate or cut costs.
By the way, if my perception of webMethods products was based solely on Enterprise Integrator, Broker 5.x, ATC’s and old versions of various enterprise adapters, I might be looking to switch, too. If for no other reason than for the brain damage that you had to go through back then to just navigate through the 18 different development tools. Arrgggghhh!
Working with Developer 6.x, Modeler and current generation IS adapters is so much easier and more productive than the bad ole days of Enterprise Integrator / Visual Integrator.
Now if we could just get a little love from the IS product development team to get some critical standards updates (let’s start with WS-I Basic Profile 1.0 compliance) before I reach retirement age!
Thanks for your input.
I am thinking along similar lines - a client has limited vision of the product - Broker 5, Adapters 4.1.1 - having a greater product vision and knowing what advantages a product can provide for a business to reach its goals / forecasts, is very important.
Regards and thank again