SOA stalwarts: Microsoft, IBM support most service-oriented architectures

Microsoft and IBM are the leading players in the service-oriented architecture (SOA) software market, according to a recent report from Boston-based AMR Research.
By Sidney Hill, Jr., executive editor January 9, 2008

Microsoft and IBM are the leading players in the service-oriented architecture (SOA) software market, according to a recent report from Boston-based AMR Research .
In the report titled SOA: The State of the Market , Research Director Ian Finley says SOA has emerged as “the best approach for building corporate software today. As a result, it is redefining every aspect of the software market.”
This redefining has included major enterprise application vendors such as SAP and Oracle building their own platforms to support construction of SOAs. But the report says the major IT infrastructure providers—specifically Microsoft and IBM—so far have attracted more users to their SOA platforms.
A user survey that was the basis for the report found that 59 percent of companies actively engaged in SOA projects are using the Microsoft.NET platform;
Oracle’s Fusion Middleware and SAP’s NetWeaver ranked fourth and fifth. Thirty-one percent of companies with active projects have adopted the Oracle platform while 29 percent are using SAP NetWeaver. WebLogic
Finley points out, however, that the SOA market is still young, and these numbers could change as the market matures.
Some details in the AMR Research report, in fact, pointed to a potential shift in vendor positioning over time. When companies that are considering launching SOA projects were asked their platform preferences, 25 percent cited Oracle Fusion Middleware, and 23 percent listed SAP NetWeaver. IBM WebSphere was mentioned by 19 percent of companies in this category and Microsoft .NET by 12 percent.
IBM may not suffer as much as Microsoft if users ultimately demonstrate an overwhelming preference for SOA platforms developed by application vendors. That’s because IBM is by far the market leader when it comes to offering SOA consulting services.
Fifty-one percent of companies with active projects are being assisted by IBM Global Services. Accenture holds second place in the consulting category with 33 percent of companies with active projects using its services. Other firms with significant consulting business include Capgemini (32 percent); Infosys (31 percent); and Cognizant (23 percent).
Finley says IBM’s leadership in the consulting space is “understandable, given its leading SOA product suite and concerted marketing efforts. Still, its degree of penetration in companies with active SOA projects is impressive.”
Robert LeBlanc, general manager, global consulting services and SOA, IBM, offers an explanation for IBM’s level of market penetration.
“IBM’s ability to deliver both the services and products that clients require to help them