Gartner: IBM tops middleware league


8 May 2003 IBM reigns supreme in the market for application integration and middleware technologies, according to new research by analyst group Garter Dataquest. It suggest that the company now holds the leadership spot in terms of market share in every segment of the market.

However, the main reason has less to do with product function and capability and more to do with IBM’s size, brand awareness and financial stability.

According to Gartner, the slow economy has extended sales cycles, putting many smaller software vendors under severe financial pressure. Many customers are also “taking the safe option” — buying products from large, stable, well-known vendors. IBM, it points out, has a sales and services staff of more than 30,000 people, numerous partners and a large installed base of hardware and infrastructure software customers.


IBM’s worldwide market position (by new licence revenue)
  2000   2001   2002  
Application servers 2 2 1
Integration broker suites 1 1 1
Portals n/a 3 1
Message-oriented middleware 1 1 1
Application platform suites 2 2 1
Transaction processing monitor 1 1 1
Overall market 1 1 1
Gartner Dataquest (May 2003)

“These factors, as well as being positioned in a growth market, allowed IBM to grow by taking market share in all application integration and middleware markets while the shares of the other, smaller vendors sank,” Gartner says.

However, the analyst group also says that although IBM holds the largest market share, it does not dominate middleware. Moreover, it says that IBM’s products are not necessarily the strongest and the company’s total cost of ownership is higher than many of its competitors.

As a result, says Gartner, if IBM’s competitors start to lower prices further — something it says is likely to happen if IT spending remains depressed — then IBM may cede its top spot next year.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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