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Live from BEA Participate: Mark Carges Keynote

I already held Mark Carges in very high esteem — but my respect for him grew immensely this morning when I found out that he wrote the source for Tuxedo some 23 years ago while he was a student at NYU! Very cool . . . . Mark opened by talking about the reasons that […]

I already held Mark Carges in very high esteem — but my respect for him grew immensely this morning when I found out that he wrote the source for Tuxedo some 23 years ago while he was a student at NYU! Very cool . . . .

Mark opened by talking about the reasons that BEA is hosting this conference. Mostly it was a response to the lukewarm feedback about BEA World from ex-Plumtree and ex-Fuego customers who wanted “something more.” (You can read some of this feedback on an earlier post on my blog.)

The focus of Participate is three-fold: Portals, BPM and “Social Computing.” Clearly that maps to ALUI, ALBPM and PEP (Pages, Ensemble and Pathways), the new AquaLogic product initiatives.

Before getting into the meat of his talk, Mark gave some background on BEA’s overall corporate strategy. Their vision entails facilitating the migration from “traditional” applications to “situational” applications. This message is nothing new, but for the benefit of those who are new to the message, I summarized the difference between these two types of application development below:

  • traditional vs. situational
  • permanence vs. constant change
  • silos vs. dynamic, connected solutions
  • tightly coupled vs. loosely coupled
  • application function vs. business process
  • no collaboration vs. built for collaboration
  • homogeneous vertical integration vs. heterogeneous horizontal integration

Mark then went into a short aside about the way long-tail or “rogue” applications have sprung up throughout the enterprise, facilitated by applications like Lotus Notes, Excel and E-mail/IM. My ears perked up a bit because bdg has identified that e-mail distribution of Excel spreadsheets (and other office documents) is one “business process” that prevails in the enterprise and the one thing upon which we could improve drastically with the right web-based, ECM-driven collaborative tool. Project Excelerator, which is something under active development at bdg, attempts to address this problem in a novel way. You’ll be hearing much more about this product as we get closer to a ship date.

More on Mark’s description of the overall strategy of BEA: he commented that BEA’s focus on business innovation, business and IT agility and technology optimization brings a strong competitive advantage to all of their customers. He gave four examples of this:

  1. AflacAnywhere (highlighting their mobile portal and podcasts)
  2. Goldsmith Williams Solicitors
  3. USGS National Biological Information Infrastructure
  4. The Babcock & Wilcox Company (highlighting ordering parts, project management and using BPM to support the sales process)

At this point, Mark shifted gears and started a segment called “Bringing Web 2.0 to the Enterprise.” He highlighted the gap between what you can do at home (consumer web) vs. the enterprise. He then gave several examples of consumer web sites that have compelling use cases for the enterprise. Those examples included,, Redfin and wikipedia. I’m sure most of you already know what those sites do, so I’ll skip right to the part about how, at least thematically, they could be applied to the enterprise.

The culture of collaboration and participation started by digg could be used to rank the best sales tools or the best content and the rest of the enterprise community could benefit from this ranking. highlights the power in implicit connections and makes research about different topics much easier, including finding content and people. At work, you could use a tool to view content by group/experts, create organic groups of business organizations and leverage the wisdom of the crowd. The concepts implemented by Redfin, a slick real-estate mashup started by Plumtree founder Glenn Kelman, could be used to show a single view of the customer (where info is stored in different systems) including purchased products, support incidents, account team, etc. Lastly, the “long-tail” economics proven to work beautifully in the world of encyclopedias (with Wikipedia) could be used to track the competition, collectively write about competitors and share competitive knowledge, add RSS feeds, add anecdotes and edit everything collaboratively.

Mark closed his keynote with a brief introduction to BEA’s three new products: Pages, Ensemble and Pathways. You’ll be hearing much more about these great initiatives as the conference continues, so stay tuned!


Comments are listed in date ascending order (oldest first)

  • Not to jump ahead, but here is a good site to get an introduction to Pages, Ensemble and Pathways (PEP for short). The site was recently updated to have online demos of Pages and Ensemble.

    Posted by: plaird on May 7, 2007 at 6:16 PM

    • BEA Idol: who is the biggest rock star in the Participate speaker lineup?
    • Alex Toussaint: BEA’s most traveled Product Manager? He is a famous alumnus of WLP, which makes him a popular choice in Boulder Colorado.
    • David Phipps: a long time ALUI engineer, at an ALUI technical conference. Could be a winner….
    • Or…Mariano Benitez: newest member of the BEA family of the three. A born speaker if there ever was one. I hear he likes to sing during his presentations.

Answer? Count the number of sessions given by each here: Participate Session List

Posted by: plaird on May 7, 2007 at 6:36 PM

  • But it is an honor to receive this award!! But I don’t know if the user community would really embrace my singing career!! Next year I will do the opening song!

    Posted by: mbenitez on May 7, 2007 at 8:21 PM

  • We value your articles here on arch2arch/dev2dev too Mariano!

    Posted by: jonmountjoy on May 7, 2007 at 8:50 PM

  • Mariano – opening song? What, like Gloria Estevan or something like that? Is that popular in Argentina? OK, Steve Ballmer made it work:Video: STEVE BALLMER is a yelling freak

    Posted by: plaird on May 7, 2007 at 9:10 PM

  • hey, I am in better shape than Steve!! Anyway,I would only sing if I get the opening act at BEA World with these other guys! WHAT ABOUT THIS OPENING FOR THE NEXT BEA PARTICIPATE?? I think they are pretty liquid thinkers 🙂

    Posted by: mbenitez on May 7, 2007 at 9:53 PM

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