Plumtree Software Inc. is preparing to release its first vertical applications for the retail and pharmaceutical industries while porting its portal, content management and application development platform to Linux.
The company is attempting to capitalize on the growing demand for composite applications, which combine traditional business application functionality with collaborative processes that are often specific to particular industries.
San Francisco-based Plumtree plans to release a composite application for retail next quarter and for pharmaceuticals in the fourth quarter. The retail vertical application will be a part of the companys G6 release, which will also make all the companys applications available on the SuSE Linux platform.
"One of our differentiators is that the product is open," said Plumtrees newly appointed president and chief operating officer, Paul Ciandrini, in an exclusive interview with eWEEK.
"It currently works on .Net, Java and Unix as well as Linux. Our customers see a lot of value in having one product that can be deployed in any particular property and environment they may have in their particular enterprise."
Ciandrini said Plumtrees openness trumps all the companys competitors, including IBM, Microsoft Corp. and BEA Systems Inc.
"We support many different operating platforms, environments, standards and languages," Ciandrini said.
"If you have some Microsoft and you have some Java, we can work with .Net and Java with the same product," he said. "You wont see Microsoft do that; you typically wont see IBM do that."
Plumtree is building what Ciandrini called community applications, which take information from back- or front-office transaction-based systems and present it to a community of users and then automate a best-practice workflow around that information.
"Its this idea of presenting information regardless of the source," Ciandrini said. "Its the idea of implementing a best-practice process that ... you can measure benefits from and also have discipline and accountability in, which leverages the investments people have made in transaction-based systems."
Colin Karsten, information service programs manager at Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp., lauded Plumtrees move while acknowledging that prebuilt vertical applications arent a good fit for the aerospace industry, in which Pratt & Whitney competes.
"In aerospace, it gets so complex," said Karsten in East Hartford, Conn. "It takes a lot of human collaboration to make stuff happen. Ive yet to figure out a way to put that into a computed process. We can only support whats going on."
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