SOA Vendor WebLayers Taps Industry Veteran Jeff Papows as CEO

WebLayers chooses Jeff Papows, the former head of Lotus, Cognos and Maptuit, to be its new CEO. SOA governance software maker WebLayers also announces a $3 million round of venture funding.

WebLayers has announced the appointment of industry veteran Jeff Papows as its president and CEO.

The SOA (service-oriented architecture) governance software maker also announced that the company has secured $3 million in a new equity round of funding from Ascent Venture Partners, Cedar Fund and Veritas Venture Partners with a contingency for additional funds if required. Additionally, to accommodate continued growth, WebLayers has relocated its headquarters.

In an interview with eWEEK, Papows said his immediate plans for the company include "continued top-line growth." As for down the road, Papows said, "As you know, WebLayers is a venture-backed company, so in the spirit of total candor, venture-backed companies are for sale ... So I have to be looking at some kind of merger or an IPO, which is not my favorite thing, although I took Cognos public. It would be optimal to find a place where there's synergy, not unlike IBM and Lotus."

Papows has more than 25 years of industry experience, including having served as president and CEO of Lotus Development, where he helped steer the company's successful integration into IBM. Papows also was president of Cognos, where he took the business intelligence software provider to a successful public offering. Most recently, Papows was the president and CEO of Maptuit, a provider of real-time commercial navigation software. Having led Maptuit to profitability and market leadership, Papows will continue to play an active role in that company as chairman of the board.

Is SOA dead? Click here to read about the debate.

WebLayers develops software and provides related services to help businesses of all sizes be more efficient, reduce costs and improve productivity through automated governance of SOA. Founded in 2002, WebLayers has realized continuous, double-digit revenue increases and is poised to reach the next level in its growth, Papows said.

"WebLayers has been experiencing significant growth and the board wanted a more veteran executive to take the company forward," Papows said.

"The WebLayers board and investors are thrilled to have recruited Jeff Papows as chief executive officer," said Geoff Oblak, general partner at Ascent Venture Partners. "Jeff has a phenomenal track record of success in building emerging technology companies into established market leaders. He has the ideal experience and skill set to accelerate WebLayers' success."

Papows said, "[S]ervice-oriented architecture and SAAS [software as a service] seem to be the place to go in a time when there are tight IT budgets." Weighing in on the recent "SOA is dead" conversation, Papows said he agrees with Burton Group analyst Anne Thomas Manes, whose blog post spurred the discussion. Papows said the issue seems to be one of vocabulary and how service orientation is perceived, not that services and service orientation are no longer necessary.

Services and service orientation will be around for some time, Papows said. "Believe me, I do this because I am interested in taking this company forward," he said about taking the helm of WebLayers. "The last thing I need is to take a roll at a company in a marketplace that is in trouble. This market is not going anywhere."