Gartner Blog Network

Liaison and ADX Fuel The B2B Frenzy

by Benoit Lheureux  |  January 13, 2010  |  4 Comments

Yesterday Liaison — a vendor I recently evaluated for our recent update to the Magic Quadrant for Integration Service Providers (login required) announced that it is acquiring ADX — another B2B vendor I’ve followed for years. While this particular commercial transaction was not by itself a huge deal (it does incrementally strengthen and grows Liaison’s market position while allaying concerns about ADX’s long-term viability — look for a bit more analysis on that in a day or so), their action adds to and underscores the highly active state of the B2B market segment including a series of activities including:

  • Tibco’s acquisition of Foresight on Friday (my colleagues and I are working on analysis)
  • The GXS acquisition of Inovis in December — see my post and published research on that
  • SPS Commerce’ December IPO filing with the SEC — analysis on that too available soon
  • Oracle’s alliance with E2open on Business Process Networks in November (research here)

And so on, including other such moves in 2009 such as Elemica’s acquisition of Rubber Networks, Cast Iron’s alliance with Cloud providers such as Amazon and Google, and IBM’s alliance with Hubspan to offer business process networks for WebSphere.  As I recently noted this has recently attracted substantial investor interest, but as Jijesh Devan asked in one of his comments on that post: why “this renewed interest” in B2B? I attribute this (at least) to the following factors:

  • Opportunistic M&A — in a perceived ‘bottom’ (let’s hope) market movers acquire, merge, etc
  • B2B maturity — by customer, pricing, or reliability, integration solutions are getting better
  • OPEX vs CAPX — when capital is tight, integration services look attractive relative to software
  • Cloud proliferation — traditional ecommerce still rules, but Cloud computing needs integration

Many companies still (rightfully) run their own B2B hubs but it’s clear from client interest and the rapid growing managed services business that B2B integration outsourcing in particular is hitting its prime. I’m having discussions with Cloud computing / SaaS providers about how to address on-premise integration requirements. I’m also speaking to investors and CEO’s of B2B vendors citing “upcoming announcements” — war chests are being prepared … battle lines are being drawn … no doubt the B2B market in 2010 is gonna be fun.

Additional Resources

View Free, Relevant Gartner Research

Gartner's research helps you cut through the complexity and deliver the knowledge you need to make the right decisions quickly, and with confidence.

Read Free Gartner Research

Category: b2b  business-process-networks  cloud  cloud-computing  edi  iaas  integration  

Benoit J. Lheureux
Research VP
8 years at Gartner
31 years IT industry

Benoit Lheureux is a research VP in Gartner Research and agenda manager for the Application Infrastructure group. He focuses on three areas: application integration, middleware and B2B e-commerce, with the emphasis on the latter. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Liaison and ADX Fuel The B2B Frenzy

  1. alan W. says:

    The Invois merger may be a fact in some people’s minds, but the story has not had its last chapter written. There is so much subtext behinds the scenes regarding competitive VANs and unbundled communications, that we could not even scratch the surface in ten posts.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Simon and Benoit Lheureux, Cloud Blogs. Cloud Blogs said: #Cloud #CloudComputing Liaison and ADX Fuel The B2B Frenzy: Yesterday Liaison — a vendor I recently evaluated for our r […]

  3. alan W. says:


    For those who are happy talking the merger until we all are in the thrall of a paid analyst’s phantasmagoric dream tableaux (please notice the analyst’s last name and the word tableaux share a rare letter), I can only say…mercy, with so many under the radar innovations being birthed, that some….some would get a mention. But as the smaller and more agile innovators in B2B are neither venture funded, the target of industry toxic mergers, or paying Gartner for heaven sakes, we may never hear a peep of coverage.

  4. Benoit Lheureux says:

    Alan, if you want to rant please take it elsewhere. If you want a briefing please contact Thanks – bjl

Comments are closed

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.