IBM Taps WebSphere 8 for Top Spot in Business-Integration Software Market

IBM's WebSphere 8 application server leads the company to the top spot in the business-integration software space, with new support for mobile devices and performance improvements to boot.

With its WebSphere 8 software shipping, IBM is claiming a leadership role in the business-integration software space.

In a July 25 press release, IBM officials noted that research firm Gartner recently named IBM the leading software vendor for the tenth consecutive year in the $17.6 billion application infrastructure and middleware software market, with a 32.6 percent market share. IBM officials added that new software, clients and performance benchmark results demonstrate its leadership in the business-integration market.

IBM's new WebSphere Application Server is now shipping, along with a range of new features for businesses. The new software helps clients accelerate the development and delivery of applications and services for mobile devices, cloud computing and social media.

The WebSphere Application Server is IBM's foundation for the layer of software known as middleware. Among the new capabilities in the latest version are features that enable customers to develop mobile and user-friendly content that includes interactive components, such as charts, gauges, maps, diagrams, buttons, lists, transitions, animations and more, the company said.

"The new software brings further major enhancements in all important aspects, such as programming models, performance, ease-of-use and operational efficiency," Joachim Gucker, chief operating officer of ARS Computer and Consulting, said in a statement. "Looking ahead, it is clear that WebSphere will play an important role in helping us to continue meeting the evolving needs of customers."

To extend this experience to the greatest number of mobile users, the new software now also supports a wide array of smartphones and tablets such as the iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry, ensuring that applications deliver a look, feel and user experience similar to the native device. This capability is vital for expanding businesses, with IDC reporting that the mobile workforce surpassed 1 billion last year.

IBM officials said there are more than 100,000 organizations using IBM business-integration software, including USAA, Blue Cross Blue Shield, the State of New Jersey Department of Human Services and Homeloans Management Limited.

"We were specifically impressed with the enhanced installation capabilities and its heightened performance, both of which will be a great benefit to our entire organization," Balaji Madala, IT Specialist for the New Jersey Department of Human Services, said in a statement.

After a competitive evaluation, USAA, a financial services provider serving members of the military, veterans and their families, chose IBM business-integration software to expand delivery of its financial-service portfolio across multiple market channels, the company said. USAA is now able to serve its members more rapidly by streamlining the product and service design and delivery process using IBM's software, USAA officials said.

IBM client Homeloans Management Limited, a UK-based financial services firm, is using IBM software to improve business processes across its credit management, call center and customer mortgage departments. HML officials said the company needed an agile and flexible system that could be customized rapidly to meet ever-changing government requirements.

Meanwhile, key to WebSphere's success within the middleware segment is IBM's continued investment in product performance, a commitment that has once again resulted in industry-leading benchmarks. In the first test of the WebSphere Application Server V8.0, IBM announced record-breaking performance results, and was named performance leaders in two out of three categories according to the SPECjEnterprise 2010 benchmark, IBM said. By delivering the superior performance, the WebSphere Application Server 8.0 gives companies more responsive business applications, the company said.

Moreover, WebSphere has earned more than 700 patents across its portfolio since it was first launched in 1998, contributing to IBM's 18-year record topping the list of the world's most inventive companies. Beginning with the WebSphere Application Server, these offerings parallel the evolution of the Web itself from static pages, sites and content to today's landscape of dynamic services, programs and real-time processing of all kinds of data and media.

WebSphere was recently named as one of the top innovations in IBM's 100-year history as part of the company's centennial celebration this year. The history of WebSphere as part of IBM's Centennial is chronicled in a documentary video with Steve Mills, senior vice president, IBM Software Group and Systems Group, and on the IBM Icon of Progress Website.