Yesterday, SOA Software announced the acquisition of Blue Titan, a provider of service networking infrastructure.
First, I'd like to congratulate Frank Martinez (aka, "Slim"). I'd also like to congratulate the people over at SOA Software for seeing and acting on this opportunity. Those who have worked with Blue Titan over the years realize that they have a multi-part value proposition: 1. The value of their current product suite, 2. The value of their vision. SOA Software acquired both product and vision.
The on-going consolidation in this market is good for everyone. We now have fewer vendors with better product suites enabling customers to buy integrated solutions. What remains unclear is who the big winners in the space will be; who will be the Mercator of the space? Who will be the Tibco?
SOA Software has assembled a set of product technologies that will enable them to compete on the multi-part RFP's that are floating around. However, their suite of tools now has overlap with many of the pure play vendors (SOA Mainframe Enablement, SOA Security Devices, SOA Mediation, SOA Monitoring, etc.) Recently, the game for small companies has been one of 'partnering in the ecosystem'. Guys like Systinet, Actional, Parasoft and GT Software have shown their ability to pull together to promote their individual and collective causes. However, the rapid consolidation is diminishing the ability for the small companies to "eco-partner" due to their new parent companies having overlap in their portfolio (Mercury, Progress, BEA, etc.) We are close to reaching the point where *enough* of the SOA mass has moved from pure play to conglomerate. When this happens the eco-partner system falls apart due to lack of critical mass and value proposition. This sets the stage for phase 2 of the battle - the battle of the conglomerates.
With the acquisition of Blue Titan, SOA Software may have bought some industrial strength software - but let's get real, what they really bought was a mean general to fight the real war.