There is a software company that does things differently; not clamouring to be the latest headline, but quietly running the world with precision for 50 years. That is in itself unusual, how many software companies turn 50, and in robust health? And how many do it on their own terms, actively promoting independence and interoperability with software from any vendor, anywhere and deliberately promoting customer choice?
That is the Software AG way (Software Ltd. or Software Inc. in other words) and has been since the company was founded in Darmstadt, Germany (hence the precision software engineering) in 1969 – a garage start-up like, well, you know who.
You possibly have never heard of Software AG and its trademark never appears on your PC or laptop but you probably use their software today. For example, eight of the top 10 U.S. banks use Software AG – a significant slice of daily global financial transactions are supported by applications developed with the company’s software. And not just bank transactions but online payments, credit card transactions, private investments or if you have traded in pork bellies, then you have used Software AG.
Outside of finance, if you have ever flown in into the U.S., driven a car, taken a train, or a bus, gone to outer space or if that’s too ambitious, just used an escalator or driven to work in a tractor, Software AG eased your ride.
Actually if you’ve ever watched a movie while drinking a Cola, downloaded music or had a coffee on the way to work then you probably used Software AG. In the UK, your driving license (and probably your speeding fine too) is processed by Software AG, so is your UK visa request.
Or if you’ve used the global post or logistics network, berthed your ship in Rotterdam (well maybe), had a package delivered overnight for a birthday, sent freight through Hong Kong or Singapore without a problem then it was precise software engineering supporting precise global services, no matter how small or large the delivery.
We could go on and on. But basically, if you are alive, you use Software AG on a daily basis.
Every one of the companies, not quite, mentioned above have one thing in common. They have all built individual systems and applications that are at the core of their businesses. These are not off-the-shelf software solutions – these are unique applications that give each and every enterprise a unique competitive edge. If these applications do not run the business stops! As according to the Flight Operations Manager of ANA, the Japanese airline: “ANA cannot fly without (Software AG’s) webMethods.”
There is a second feature in common too – Independence. Software AG was founded on adaptability and independence – adaptability to customer requirements for the company’s software (see ADABAS panel next page) and independence from vendor lock-in preserving customer choice.
Nearly all major enterprises use software from many vendors in different departments, running their operations, billing or sales. Enterprises must also interact with partners, suppliers and clients. They must reflect the latest regulations governing industry and finance and, if they have the capacity after all that, take into account outside events such as market trends and more immediately weather conditions, strikes or natural disasters.
All of these are built on what is called integration software. Just look at the dictionary definition of integration: “Noun: an act or instance of combining into an integral whole”. Integration software combines all enterprise IT, no matter which vendor produced it, into an integral whole. No more information or process or application silos or islands, no more fractures within the enterprise or government departments. Integration software is what makes a fractured enterprise whole.
Total software integration (applications, data & the cloud) is what gives full visibility of a business – not just historical, not just in real time but also predictive analysis capabilities to identify potential, unexpected machine or engine maintenance issues, or a full view of business operations that allow real-time estimates (based on facts not thumbs) of when a customer order can be processed while still talking to the customer.
Furthermore, integration must be neutral integration. Integration must connect applications from any vendor hosted anywhere, sensors from any manufacturer on any shop floor, up any mountain, down any valley. Integration must guarantee maximum customer choice and completely avoid customer lock-in to a single vendor. Without that the customer is dependent on the innovation cycles of their software suppliers and not their own.
Today, Software AG is the world’s largest independent integration software provider and has been giving enterprises the agility and flexibility to react quickly and economically to changing markets for nearly 30 years.
And tomorrow? Independence to invest when and where and with whom they want is possibly the most important IT asset an enterprise can have in fast changing markets.
Integration software is fundamental to success in the Internet of Things world we now live in. The enterprise boundaries have moved from being solely on premise, to the cloud and from there to the (mobile) edge – wherever a company has an asset or digital sensor is now the boundary of that company.
Extend that to include partners, clients and clients’ customers. Extend that further to include data from any third party source: weather, natural events or public opinion and the number of data sources that need to be integrated to provide a full business and operational picture of what is happening inside and outside the enterprise becomes clear.
Then think how this could be accomplished in a fractured enterprise?
This is where Software AG kicks-off its next 50 years – building on the collective experiences and knowledge of a half century of adaptable and independent software – to be the backbone for IoT platforms such as Bosch, Siemens, Deutsch Telekom, Vodafone, NTT in Japan (not quite the A-Z of countries worldwide but the A-U, Austria to UK, USA, UAE and Uruguay). And ADAMOS – an IoT platform from the manufacturing industry for the manufacturing industry, an industry mastering its own way into the digital world with a unique, collaborative digital business model.
A significant and increasing proportion of today’s new digital services are supported by Software AG. You won’t see the logo on your smartphone screen but…still touching your life and the lives of, well perhaps, billions.