SOURCE: IBM

March 06, 2008 15:30 ET

businessMart Takes On New Markets Using IBM SOA and Web 2.0 Technologies

HANOVER, GERMANY--(Marketwire - March 6, 2008) - Today at CeBIT, businessMart AG, Inc. announced it has significantly accelerated its entry into new business markets, thanks to a new Web-based trading platform built on IBM (NYSE: IBM) service oriented architecture (SOA) and Web 2.0 technology. Combining a flexible infrastructure with mashup technology, businessMart empowered its marketing and IT functions to better communicate and share ideas, streamlining the traditional product development process and cutting deployment time.

The Stuttgart, Germany-based businessMart develops and operates some of the largest and most successful e-business platforms in Europe. Through these venues, the company helps approximately 133 manufacturers and 7,500 dealers process as many as 506,000 order transactions each month. Seeking to expand their operations, businessMart needed to adapt its existing trading platform to ensure that all aspects of the platform remain compliant with new German laws and regulations.

This ability to rapidly respond to new customer support needs gives businessMart the agility it needs as it works to grow revenue in new market segments, such as government-awarded projects within the building industry. This also increases the value businessMart can deliver to manufacturers by rapidly connecting them to new customer segments and helping them to increase sales within these new markets.

"Based on IBM technology, our initial SOA implementation was essential for us to establish a commanding position in the German trade and industry," said Thies Frahm, Chief Operating Officer, businessMart. "Based on this success, we are looking to IBM's Web 2.0 technologies to further enhance our offerings and successful entry into new markets."

businessMart used an IBM mashup prototype, called QEDWiki to create initial mashups on new markets. The mashup pulls information from businessMart backend systems and foreign internet applications to perfectly model the information and processes needed to support new lines of customers. As a result, businessMart can adapt in real-time and will be able to dramatically decrease cycle time for solutions that support these new targeted customer segments and subsequently increase their agility to rapidly enter a new market. In addition, the company takes advantage of IBM WebSphere MQ, which provides secure messaging and access into manufacturers' systems, adding another layer of disparate information integration.

businessMart can now reuse existing applications, business processes and services to instantly support the sales of new products from hundreds of manufacturers. This eliminates the need to build individual applications and Web pages to support each and every new product; now it's as simple as a few clicks using the Web 2.0 tools.

IBM mashup technology is also used by businessMart to access the SOA enabled backend and quickly provide visualization of the available services. This is made possible by enabling staff to "mash" up models of what they require -- creating applications when and how they are needed to solve new business problems -- and then using SOA to access business processes and information.

"One of the challenges in IT today is the length of time to develop applications. With businesses getting more and more time-to-market-focused, this time factor really comes into play and can create a barrier between IT and business," said Gina Poole, Vice President, Social Software Strategy, IBM. "The combination of SOA and Web 2.0 is giving rise to a new class of applications that can be tailored to easily address the needs of an individual or a workgroup within a business."

According to Gartner, Inc., the combination of SOA and Web 2.0 technologies represents one of the fastest growing segments of the IT industry, with the worldwide market for SOA, Web services and Web 2.0 predicted to grow to more than $142 billion by 2011. This project represents a growing trend of combining SOA and Web 2.0 to radically transform business models by creating and deploying new services as the business needs arise.

IBM recently unveiled initial plans for an entire mashup portfolio to help organizations of all sizes take advantage of mashups in a secure, scalable and governed way. IBM Lotus Mashups and the IBM Mashup Starter Kit will be available in the summer.

For information about businessMart AG visit www.businessMart.de

These technologies will be on display when IBM hosts IMPACT 2008, the industry's largest SOA conference, April 6-11 in Las Vegas. For more information go to: www.ibm.com/soa/impact2008

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