Continued from Part 2.
Part 3: Creating the Firmament
In the late 1990′s, as workflow vendors saw the benefits of EAI and understood how it could replace the more heavily customized integration that was typical for workflow solutions, they began adding EAI capabilities to their workflow products. Although there were exceptions, this was typically done by the workflow vendor striking an OEM agreement with an EAI vendor to allow the EAI product to be embedded seamlessly into the workflow product.
Not surprisingly, EAI vendors saw the benefits of having some human-facing steps in the system-to-system processes, and began adding rudimentary human-facing capabilities. These functions, usually built by the EAI vendor directly rather than partnering with a workflow vendor, were fairly rudimentary since they were intended just for the repair of processes that had an exception condition that could not be handled automatically. You could say that these processes were “human interrupted” rather than “human facing”.
Although we now had systems that (theoretically) spanned the full range of the integration space, these were really just workflow systems with a bit of EAI, or EAI systems with a bit of workflow, and the vendors still sold to their strong suit.
Next: sideways diversification.