WRQ Continues Business Model Shift with SuperNova Acquisition

WRQ Inc. purchased the technology and operations of enterprise application integration (EAI) vendor SuperNova Enterprises BV. With this acquisition, WRQ (www.wrq.com) plans to move into the EAI space.

"This is a pretty significant change to our business model," says Scott Merrick, director of product marketing at WRQ.

In fact, Merrick says this acquisition is part of WRQ’s greater strategy to move away from selling products directly and toward a model of aligning itself with strategic partners and consultants to help customers implement and integrate applications.

According to GartnerGroup Inc. (www.gartnergroup.com), the EAI software market is projected to grow from $1 billion in 2000 to $5.7 billion in 2002. Moreover, companies are allocating up to 40 percent of their annual IT budgets to address this challenge.

WRQ by tradition is a host integration specialist. By purchasing SuperNova (www.supernova.com), the company plans to offer services and solutions for integrating data sources, legacy host applications, and enterprise applications into the overall e-business infrastructure.

SuperNova's products are known for integrating homegrown or highly customized applications. Analyst Mitchell Kramer of Patricia Seybold Group Inc. (www.psgroup.com) says the majority of enterprise applications today are individually customized, and SuperNova's integration framework reduces the complexity of integrating highly customized enterprise applications.

According to market research firm Meta Group Inc. (www.meta.com), the 2,000 largest companies in the world each use an average of 49 separate enterprise-level applications. Customized applications comprise a significant percentage of these applications. SuperNova, however, also provides the flexibility to integrate with newer off the shelf applications.

Merrick says the SuperNova product will be renamed sometime midyear, and it will include the Apptrieve product recently obtained by WRQ. Apptrieve is a connectivity product designed to enable access to data and logic locked in host-based applications. The two products, however, also will be available as standalone products.

The suites are platform agnostic and certified to run on Windows NT, among other platforms. Merrick says WRQ will eventually get it certified for Windows 2000, as well.

SuperNova’s suite focuses primarily on SAP R/3 and business data warehousing. The two companies are also working on a connector for mySAP.com.

WRQ is now prepared to help customers integrate between 35 and 50 different applications, including Oracle and other databases, as well as customer solutions and custom applications.

"Added to WRQ's strength of solving complex IT problems, SuperNova's products and support infrastructure gives WRQ tremendous potential in the EAI arena," Seybold’s Kramer says.