BEA Chief Says Convergence Key to Softwares Future

Speaking to Harvard business students, BEA's Alfred Chuang says convergence is key to jumpstarting the software industry.

Alfred Chuang, founder, chairman and CEO of BEA Systems Inc., said convergence is the key to jumpstarting the software industry.

However, when Chuang talks about convergence he means the convergence of the development of new software with the integration of existing or legacy software.

Speaking to a group of aspiring MBA students at the Harvard Business School Cyberposium over the weekend, Chuang said linking new software with old and legacy software will bring out newer, more solid and effective systems.

"Integration is not just about linking a lot of legacy stuff—its about leveraging the technology you have," Chuang said. Indeed, integration promotes flexible infrastructure, Chuang said. "Today the software industry is mature enough to look at integration and development and see them work together. At BEA we call that convergence."

BEA will announce new integration solutions around its WebLogic application server platform at its upcoming BEA eWorld 2003 conference in Orlando, Fla.

"The software industry is alive and kicking," Chuang told the audience.

"Software has done great things for American business," he said. Last year it generated $444 billion in revenues and saved businesses $150 billion in productivity gains and other benefits.

"Our mission in software is to alleviate customers pain—but the pain just begins when the customer purchases the software," he said.

The convergence of development and integration will help speed up the recovery and help solve problems in companies as well, he said.

"Today the software industry is ready to throw gasoline on the economys fire," Chuang said.

"People have a doomsday image of Silicon Valley, but I can tell you that the Peoples Republic of Palo Alto is alive and kicking," Chuang said to laughter from the crowd.

Chuang ended his speech by picking the winning name of a lucky student who won a Microsoft Corp. Xbox video game console.