Monday, February 06, 2012

More on IBM's Acquisition of Mobility Vendor Worklight

Last week I wrote my initial analysis of IBM's announced acquisition of mobility vendor Worklight.  Yesterday, I received a written reply from Worklight's Austin Ford that adds important information that is worth sharing.  Here is his reply in its entirety.

I'm happy to see your interests in our company! To address some questions, let's first mention that Worklight is actually predominantly used as an MCAP play (true story, most deployment usage of WL is B2C). Yes we're also a MEAP, and these distinctions in Gartner's language (they claim they coined both acronyms) are getting blended into 1 this year.

For some comparisons to the Sybase SUP, this might address the high level stuff:
 *Worklight outputs are web languages (HTML5) and usage of open or closed libraries and / or / combination using the actual SDK's from the mobile OS manufacturers. This means the outputs are actual true native code and all of it, not virtual machines and proprietary translation code like many others or limited native functionality like SUP.
*SUP = "write once, run everywhere" mentality. Proprietary outputs from a proprietary IDE experience even though it's based on Eclipse. Uh oh, you're married and already on restriction.  *Worklight = web languages (CSS, HTML, Javascript, libraries) + native SDK's together in Eclipse. Java and web developers normally ramp quickly. Also developers are motivated to learn native SDK's I've found, the skills can be leveraged anywhere the native SDK's are used again.
*SUP = extremely deep experience and hours required to get an end result that's almost as good as a true native or hybrid.
*Worklight has invested heavily in full runtime components for accessing device functionality, many we engineered in house. For example we contributed to the Phonegap project (now sponsored by Apache) and that is one of many runtime components embedded in our production environment.
*SUP doesn't have deep runtime API capability. In partial defense, for the apps they're traditionally called on to mobilize (SAP MEAP), user experience hasn't been that critical.

Of course there are other Worklight favoring differentiators like openness to support & materials, ease of use, full production environment included (no upsell to particular add on components), SLA's, flexibility in installations, and just generally good people with a great product of high value to enterprises and ISV's.

Good current write-up by Pete Lagana (Excellis Interactive) here:

~Austin Ford

I want to thank Austin for taking the time to share with all of us!  These are definitely exciting times in the world of enterprise mobility and I look forward to watching events unfold in 2012.
Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile Industry Analyst, Consultant and SAP Mentor Volunteer
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.