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        Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

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        Kapow Software Harvests and Virtualizes Information and Applications for Business

        Making business use of the vast amount of information on the Web and Internet along with a company’s intranet is no easy task. Kapow Software aims to help by providing tools to define and virtualize access to information, integrate it with other information, such as that in databases, and present it in a useful format. The tool can supply access to data from legacy applications such as PeopleSoft and Siebel, newer applications from Oracle and SAP and applications in cloud computing environments, such as Salesforce.com’s. And Kapow Software not only accesses and integrates information from applications but also enriches it.

        Kapow’s platform, called Katalyst, contains several components. Design Studio lets you specify application integration processes called robots, which define a process flow to handle information from multiple sources. Katalyst can source and target across various standards and technologies, including XML. Kapow recently announced support of Salesforce’s APEX code in Katalyst Apex Generator. The software supports Salesforce applications for sales and customer service as well as applications custom-built with Force.com. Katalyst’s RoboServer component runs the robots users create in Design Studio. In essence the product generates and executes application-specific code. To ensure consistent processing, Kapow Automation Browser provides an interface for harvesting information within a Web browser. The platform’s Management Console lets users monitor the processing of integration jobs. Katalyst also lets you impose security constraints to limit access for individuals to only the information you want them to have. The platform can operate on-premises or within cloud computing environments.

        Kapow says it has more than 500 customers using the technology for information-related application integration. The company is finding opportunities in big data, cloud computing and mobile enablement. While it can help in other areas, these three can produce immediate value as companies strive to use their information for business needs.

        Our benchmark research on information applications found that more than half (53%) of organizations are not satisfied with their existing approaches to accessing, assembling and publishing information, and from one-quarter to half of organizations require information from numerous sources, including content management systems, unstructured data, text from documents and reports and Web-based content from outside the enterprise.

        Because it can access volumes of unstructured information, Kapow’s software can take big data and process it in technologies like Hadoop. Our benchmark research into Hadoop and Information Management found that 79 percent of organizations using Hadoop are challenged in staffing and 77 percent in training; Kapow addresses this issue with a dedicated tool for automating the interface to extract information and load it to big data technology environments. Our research also found that the largest growth in the next year among big-data environments will happen in hosted systems (33%) and software as a service (31%); Kapow works in both.

        Organizations adopting cloud -based applications often find that information is not as easy to access as it is in on-premises applications, since it is being managed by someone else. Kapow supports integration of cloud applications through its Automation Browser, which acts as the integration interface to the applications. Our business data in the cloud benchmark research found immature processes in accessing cloud-based data, even as two-thirds of organizations will deploy more than three cloud applications in the next year, and 43 percent have that number already deployed. Given that 86 percent of organizations see the importance of accessing data in the cloud and more than three-quarters want to automate the integration, Kapow is worth evaluating for organizations with cloud deployments that are creating manual points of integration or require custom coding.

        The popularity of mobile technologies places pressure on IT to find ways to get applications onto smartphones and tablets. Many organizations lack the skills or capability to develop native applications, and quirks in mobile Web browsers prevent many existing applications from working directly on tablets or smartphones. Kapow has created a mobile enablement technology to use its core Katalyst to harvest and reassemble a Web application for mobile technology platforms. This unique type of application redirecting is already helping many organizations support their business needs on mobile platforms.

        Kapow Katalyst 8.2, the most recent release, which came out in November 2011, added automation of workflow and data in real time. The next version, expected to be announced in the coming month, will increase support for big data through integration with products of some vendors that have commercialized Hadoop and advance integration with cloud-based applications.

        Kapow Software helps organizations utilize their existing investments and integrate them with new ones through its unique harvesting of applications and information. Its applicability across business technology innovations such as big data, business analytics, the cloud and mobile computing provide it an opportunity to significantly grow in the coming year as organizations look for efficient ways to use these technologies. Its software provides a method of integrating just about any application and information from inside or outside of the enterprise. If you have not seen Kapow’s software, take a look and see how it can apply to your needs.


        Mark Smith – CEO & Chief Research Officer


        Mark Smith
        Partner, Head of Software Research

        Mark Smith is the Partner, Head of Software Research at ISG and Ventana Research leading the global market agenda as a subject matter expert in digital business and enterprise software. Mark is a digital technology enthusiast using market research and insights to educate and inspire enterprises, software and service providers.


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