RESEARCH NOTE: Recap of Software AG’s IUG 2024 Event

By Robert Kramer - April 19, 2024

I recently attended Software AG’s annual International User Group conference in Dublin, Ireland—a convenient central location for the Germany-based company and its European customers.

The event provided insights into Software AG’s strategic direction and highlighted its flagship products, webMethods and StreamSets, which constitute its Super iPaaS data integration platform. If you’ve read my work for any amount of time, you know how adamant I am that an effective data management strategy is essential for business today, especially when organizations rely on SaaS applications. Software AG addresses the need for data management with Super iPaaS, integrating applications, data, events, and B2B interactions through APIs.

This article covers the highlights of the Software AG IUG event, the company’s future vision, and my reflections on the recent news of the €2.13 billion sale of Super iPaaS (StreamSets and webMethods) to IBM, expected to finalize by the end of the second quarter of 2024.

Podcast and Panel Insights

In a podcast recorded at the event and set to be published soon, Girish Pancha, the CEO of StreamSets, and I explored the significance of data management and the role of Super iPaaS in tackling the complexities that organizations face with their growing technology stacks. Pancha emphasized that a significant challenge is poor data quality, which causes 72% of technology executives to fall short in achieving their AI initiatives. He also highlighted the widespread issue of disconnected systems, which he described as a “chaos of technology and connectivity.” Additionally, Pancha mentioned that while 86% of companies globally are building out their technology stacks, most still need a clear plan for integration; the absence of such a clear plan only complicates their IT environments further. For me, this conversation highlighted the importance of disciplined data management and systematic integration strategies.

During the event, I was also a guest on a customer panel discussing the nuances of integration. Ann Marie Bond, director of product marketing at Software AG, steered the discussion, which also included insights from Nuno Brito, head of application integration at Nokia Digital Office, and Bharath Vutukuru, senior vice president of professional services and head of global delivery at Software AG. We discussed topics such as the impact of AI on IT strategy and the decision-making process behind choosing cloud, on-premises, or hybrid solutions. Key takeaways included the importance of maintaining data quality and having a change management plan, as these are vital for the success of any integration project. (For more of my thoughts on these topics, check out my deep dives into the crucial roles of data quality and change management.)

Key Announcements at IUG

Software AG’s event produced several important announcements:

webMethods now includes enhanced governance features, a unified control panel, improved developer tools, broader GAI capabilities, 360 views of APIs, a notification center, and more.

StreamSets has been augmented with an error-handling database, an improved user upgrade experience, SaaS app connectors, an Azure control plane, data lineage APIs, consumption metering pricing, and more.

ARIS (architecture of integrated information systems)—a suite of combined software for business analysis, data automation, process mining, and risk and compliance management—now incorporates an AI Companion for process mining and modeling, allowing users to analyze and improve business processes. Dr Stefan Sigg, chief product officer at Software AG, commented: “Businesses ultimately need to be more competitive and differentiate. . . As they attempt to [more deeply] analyze their key business processes, adoption of sophisticated yet accessible process modelling and process mining tools is necessary. Introducing AI assistance into ARIS will accelerate and simplify this initiative. Using natural language prompts to extract specific insights from process data is a really sharp weapon for teams to create sustainable business success.”

Alfabet, an IT portfolio management tool, now has enhanced abilities to facilitate smoother communication through AI chatbot integration and more efficient data analysis. Its Smart Data Workbench uses data quality rules to increase data accuracy.

Adabas (adaptable database system) and Natural (programming language) now include security features to protect sensitive data with IBM’s Z Platform. At the event, Software AG discussed how these technologies also address cloud performance, using an example of rehosting proprietary UNIX platforms on Linux.

Software AG is also strengthening its ecosystem through strategic partnerships that enhance its cloud and asset management capabilities. These include continuing collaborations with AWS for cloud transformation, leveraging Microsoft Azure for cloud computing, and integrating SAP’s Intelligent Asset Management with Software AG’s solutions, all utilizing joint architectural strategies.

Looking Ahead

As Software AG proceeds with divesting its primary asset, Super iPaaS, transparency regarding both current and future product directions becomes even more important. In conversations I had with numerous executives, it has become apparent that Software AG is facing some important challenges while also seeking to maximize the success of its ARIS solution.

I sensed an absence of clear customer direction in this evolving landscape. To address this gap, Software AG should focus on communicating its strategic vision for product innovation and core competencies. Software AG can instill confidence among its stakeholders and facilitate a smooth transition while enabling continued innovation in the market.

Looking ahead, I recommend that Software AG engage customers to gather feedback and refine its strategic roadmap through collaboration. The goal is for Software AG to maintain its leadership position in the industry by driving innovation.

Robert Kramer
VP & Principal AnalystatMoor Insights & Strategy| + posts

Robert Kramer is vice president and principal analyst covering enterprise data, including data management, databases, data lakes, data observability, data analytics, and data protection. Robert has over 30 years of proven experience with startups, IT companies, global marketing, detailed strategies, business modeling, and planning, working with enterprise companies, GTM assets, management, and execution.